Apple Reverses Course on Ban for Apps Incentivizing Ad Watching, Social Sharing

Earlier this month, Apple began cracking down on some of the methods developers use to monetize their apps, rejecting some apps that offered rewards for viewing videos and sharing content on social networks.

Developers were understandably upset about this policy change, as offering opt-in ads in the form of rewards for video watching provided a way to generate revenue without significantly disrupting gameplay. Providing in-game currency, extra lives, or another incentive for watching an advertisement has become common in freemium games.

discozoovideoadds
Apple now appears to have reversed course on its decision to reject apps for using these promotional methods, with TechCrunch noting that Apple has ceased rejecting apps for using incentivized ads and has changed its opinion on some previously rejected apps.

Now we're hearing that things have changed.

Sources in the video ad industry have reported that app rejections related to this matter have now declined, indicating the policy is being rolled back.

We're also hearing that some of the initial, and more worrisome, rejections are being undone -- that is, the apps are being allowed back in the App Store.

While Apple is allowing developers to continue to offer an in-app reward for users who watch a video or post about an app on social media, the company is still rejecting apps that offer incentives to users for reviewing an app, rating an app, or downloading another app, as reviews and ratings can affect an app's position on the Top Charts.

Manipulating the App Store charts is explicitly forbidden in Apple's app guidelines under rule 3.10, which states that developers who attempt to "manipulate or cheat the user reviews or chart ranking in the App Store with fake or paid reviews or any other inappropriate methods" can be removed from the Developer program. Thus, under Apple's new rules, developers appear to be able to allow users to watch ads for other apps, but are unable to encourage users to download those apps.

Basically, developers are fine to reward viewing video ads, whether for their own apps, those belonging to others, or brand ads, but they can't reward anything that also has a direct download piece to it.

This change will likely be a relief to developers who rely on such incentives to promote their apps to a wider audience. iOS 8 is will also bring several changes to the App Store that will help increase app discovery, including an improved App Store search algorithm, an "Explore" feature that makes it easier to find apps, and app bundles that offer several apps together for a discounted price.

Top Rated Comments

redkamel Avatar
129 months ago
I wish there was an option to search on the App Store for apps that have no ads, or for apps with no in app purchases.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DarkWinter Avatar
129 months ago
...

Well that didn't last long at all. I was hoping this was the start of a much needed change so this is disappointing news indeed.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lord Hamsa Avatar
129 months ago
That's a good correction. The initial change was a bit too draconian. What's wrong with opting in to watch an ad?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WaxedJacket Avatar
129 months ago
I've given up on iOS games for the most part. They're all this freemium crap anyway. Ended up purchasing a 3DS XL instead. Having much more fun :o
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AngerDanger Avatar
129 months ago
Oh, darn, I guess I'll have to stick to using my measly intellect to discern cheap, IAP-driven apps from quality, lovely apps. This should be incredibly difficult. :rolleyes:

Seriously, if you don't like freemium apps, avoid them. They're great revenue generators for those who develop them and hours of fun for those who like them.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Teste Avatar
129 months ago
The app store feels like a flea market now. It has thousands of incredibly bad apps trying to deceive people into giving them a top position in the charts, with clone after clone, while the very few really good apps get lost in the sea of mediocrity.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

iMessage Down for Some Users [Update: Service Restored]

Thursday May 16, 2024 3:00 pm PDT by
The iMessage service that Apple users to send messages to one another appears to be down for some users, and messages are failing to go out or are taking an extra long time to send. There are numerous reports about the issue on social networks and a spike of outage reports on Down Detector, but Apple's System Status page is not yet reporting an outage. Update: Apple's status page says...
iOS 17

Troubling iOS 17.5 Bug Reportedly Resurfacing Old Deleted Photos

Wednesday May 15, 2024 5:29 am PDT by
There are concerning reports on Reddit that Apple's latest iOS 17.5 update has introduced a bug that causes old photos that were deleted – in some cases years ago – to reappear in users' photo libraries. After updating their iPhone, one user said they were shocked to find old NSFW photos that they deleted in 2021 suddenly showing up in photos marked as recently uploaded to iCloud. Other...
iphone 15 pro max vs iphone 16 pro max

iPhone 16 Pro Max Looks This Much Bigger Beside iPhone 15 Pro Max

Thursday May 16, 2024 4:51 am PDT by
This year's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro Max is expected to get a boost in overall size from 6.7-inches to 6.9-inches, and a new image gives us a good idea of how the current iPhone 15 Pro Max compares to what could be Apple's largest ever iPhone. The image above, posted on X by ZONEofTECH, shows a dummy model representing the ‌iPhone 16 Pro‌ Max alongside an actual iPhone 15 Pro Max. Dummy...
iOS 17

iOS 17.5 Bug May Also Resurface Deleted Photos on Wiped, Sold Devices

Friday May 17, 2024 12:24 pm PDT by
A bug in iOS 17.5 is apparently causing photos that have been deleted to reappear, and the issue seems to impact even iPhones and iPads that have been erased and sold off to other people. A Reddit user wiped an iPad following Apple's guidelines in September of 2023 before selling it off to a friend. That friend updated the iPad to iPadOS 17.5 this week, and began seeing the Reddit user's old ...
oled m4 ipad pro grainy display reports

OLED iPad Pro Users Report 'Grainy' Displays, But It May Not Be a Defect

Friday May 17, 2024 5:57 am PDT by
Some new M4 iPad Pro models are exhibiting a visible static grain pattern across the OLED display, according to several user reports on Reddit (1, 2, 3) and the MacRumors Forums. Image credit: MacRumors user bk215 Users who see the grain generally report that it is most noticeable in dark environments with the display set at a low to medium brightness while viewing content with gray or muted...
Delta Hands On Feature

iPhone Emulators on the App Store: Game Boy, N64, PS1, PSP, and More

Thursday May 16, 2024 12:45 pm PDT by
In April, Apple updated its guidelines to allow retro game emulators on the App Store, and several popular emulators have already been released. The emulators released so far allow iPhone users to play games released for older consoles from Nintendo, Sony, SEGA, Atari, and others. A list of some popular emulators available on the App Store so far follows. Released Delta Delta is...