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Apple Changes App Ranks, Rejects Pay Per Install 94

tlhIngan writes "Recently, Apple changed their App Store ranking algorithm to stop ranking apps by download counts and instead use something else, akin to the recent Google changing of their Marketplace ranking algorithm to give more weight to apps' actual usage. As a side effect, Apple has also started rejecting pay-per-install apps ('freemium' apps that request the user to install companion apps to earn in-game currency). These apps were often used to game the charts by artificially inflating the download count and raising the ranking of the app in the App Store. No word on how companies like TapJoy (one of the largest 'culprits') will react."
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Apple Changes App Ranks, Rejects Pay Per Install

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  • "Freemium"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Gizzmonic ( 412910 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @03:56PM (#35872886) Homepage Journal

    Seriously, "freemium"? That has to be the worst mangling of the English language since "doorgasm."

    • Seriously, "freemium"? That has to be the worst mangling of the English language since "doorgasm."

      Oh, I thought malmanteau [xkcd.com] was pretty goofy. :-P

    • Seriously, "freemium"? That has to be the worst mangling of the English language since "doorgasm."

      Freemium is a perfectly cromulent word.

    • Re:"Freemium"? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by tgd ( 2822 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @04:08PM (#35873024)

      I'm surprised anyone on Slashdot is old enough to have had doorgasms. Or floydgasms. Or stonegasms.

      Although, you've gotta give to to kids today. Given my choice, I'd prefer a gagagasm anyway.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      "Freemium is a business model that works by offering a basic product or service free of charge (such as software, web services or other) while charging a premium for advanced features, functionality, or related products and services."
      "In economics, a damaged good (sometimes termed "crippleware" or product with "anti-features") is a good that has been deliberately limited in performance, quality or utility,[1][2][3] typically for marketing reasons as part of a strategy of product differentiation.

      • by jdgeorge ( 18767 )

        I think there's a fancier name [merriam-webster.com] for the ancient tradition of giving unappealing things a more appealing name. As far as I can tell, this "reality 2.0" has been around for all of recorded history.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by ColdWetDog ( 752185 )
          But 'euphemism' is too hard to pronounce or spell. It makes you talk like a fag and your shit gets all retarded.
          • by david_thornley ( 598059 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @05:04PM (#35873586)

            So you're saying we need a more appealing word or phrase meaning "euphemism"?

          • > your shit gets all retarded.

            Well at least we can all agree that constipation sucks.

          • by vux984 ( 928602 )

            And there was a time in this country, a long time ago, when reading wasn't just for fags and neither was writing. People wrote books and movies, movies that had stories so you cared whose ass it was and why it was farting, and I believe that time can come again!

            • and I believe that time can come again!

              ...possible! I did hear talk about a second coming. No, wait, that was about something else I think.

              The most important thing in schools nowadays seems to be saluting the flag and singing a national anthem.

              While I guess a comeback in education quality is possible (at least in theory), my advice is, don't hold your breath.

      • by matrim99 ( 123693 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @04:44PM (#35873376) Homepage

        I believe that you have just taken a Synergistic Comparable Post Opportunity.

        Syncompoop for the 2.0 folks.

      • Re:"Freemium"? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fean ( 212516 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @05:34PM (#35873906) Homepage

        While I agree that Freemium isn't new, I don't think that it meets your definition for 'crippleware'. For instance, Dropbox, Pandora and Rhapsody both offer free services that are enough for a majority of users. Dropbox has a 5-9% rate (depending on who is giving the numbers) of paying customers... the rest are using the free product. The free product isn't crippled, or have 'anti-features'... The only thing you pay for is additional space. Rhapsody offers free stations, and a limited ability to listen to specific songs. Pandora gives free stations, and a limited ability to skip over songs you don't like. Hell, even Redhat offers it's OS as 'Freemium'... you get 'premier support' if you pay for it ;-)

        Demo != freemium
        Shareware != freemium

        Economics evolves as well, trying to keep up with technology. Things change, regardless of how much grumpy old men complain about it.

        • You also aren't allowed to call it Red Hat unless you pay for it :). You must have been meaning to say PNAELV (Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor).

    • Read Orwell's 1984. There's a nice piece on language in it....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @04:18PM (#35873110)

    Ignore the apple haters, as you should in any thread. They experience an inverse effect of the JOBS RDF, where their personal reality bends and distorts until Apple is always wrong. It makes them do dumb things like promote flash and hate unified, consistent UIs.

    Anyway, I'll be glad that Apple is changing their rank system. Searching for apps in the interface is useless because companies gaming the system put endless piles of utter, complete crap. If browsing on the phone pretty much only the hand-picked featured items are worth a look.

  • Apple actually made a useful change to their app store rules for once! I used to get annoyed by this practice while playing iMobsters by Storm8, one of the companies that employ this tactic. I'm certain it made their apps appear more popular than they were.
  • TitanWars? Other lame-o-wars game getting into the "top apps" list simply because they confer in-game benefits for Elimnate/We Rule players?


  • I wonder what they're using now to base the rankings. The wording of the summary is bad; Apple is not monitoring how many times people open apps etc. My guess is that it's likely how many ratings the app got in the app store and what the average rating was.

    • In case of Google (no experience with Apple in this respect - and anyway the linked article is as much about Google as it is about Android), I can think of a few points they can include. I suppose these data points will also be available to Apple for their apps.

      • Total downloads of course.
      • Retained install ratio (on my developer console of the Android Market I can see how many total downloads there are, and how many current installs - the number of installs should be a good measure for the number of actual

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