Posts Tagged AppGratis

When AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat spoke out about AppGratis being pulled from the App Store, he said he was shocked about the reasons the app was pulled. We learned today via marketing emails forwarded to us from potential clients of AppGratis what the real reason it was pulled could be.

With over 12 million users when the app was pulled, AppGratis had a bit of a mob going with their app. The large number of users allowed them to drive massive numbers of downloads to a targeted app quickly. It called this ability to drive large amounts of downloads at a rapid pace “bursting.” Bursting allowed them to make the app rise in the charts at sometimes phenomenal rates. In the slide below, from late last year, they show off a few of their successful campaigns.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 10.31.44 AM

The large number of users gave AppGratis effective control of the App Store Top 10 Free Apps list. To grow that number of users organically is a commendable thing. But to use that control to sell top 10 placement on the App Store is unquestionably bad for the App Store ecosystem.

In an email forwarded to me by one potential customer of AppGratis, the sales representative touts:

With around 4 million users we reach high amount of downloading that translates in to the best top list rankings on the App Store.

The sales rep goes on to list the countries that AppGratis has enough users in to push an app to the top charts and the position on the charts those users can drive.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 10.46.21 AM

Apple has made moves in the past to keep the App Store, especially the top 10 lists, as organic as possible. This recent move comes as no surprise, especially in the light of AppGratis selling their influence on the top 10 list on a per install basis.

We’ve contacted AppGratis’ PR agency for comment, but at the time of this writing we have yet to hear back. We’ve also contacted Apple for comment. We’ll update or follow up with another post if we hear back.

AppGratis-645x250

Over the weekend, AppGratis, the popular app promotion app with over 12 million downloads, was pulled from the App Store by Apple. It was originally thought that it violated the rules Apple has in place to keep apps from looking too much like the App Store, the 2.25 clause. Yesterday All Things D heard from Apple that it did indeed violate this rule as well as a rule that prohibited commercial use of push notifications.

Today, AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlett tells the AppGratis side of the story.

Dawlett says that he is shocked by the actions Apple has taken against his company due to the fact that AppGratis had cleared some of the rule violations with App Store reviewers prior to being taken down. This included a new iPad version of the app that was approved a few days before the takedown. However, Dawlett notes that it was a new Apple employee that he’s never heard of that made the decision to take down the app for breaking rules, even though they had worked around some of them before. This shows how fine of a line AppGratis was previously walking.

Apple made a decision to do what’s best for the App Store and its ecosystem rather than what’s best for AppGratis. This could be because AppGratis had impact on the the AppStore as their app was able to push almost any download to number 1 on the free charts. Apple probably didn’t like seeing them, or any company, have that type of power over the App Store and sell the service to do so. Most likely, Apple brought in a rule enforcer to take care of the problem.

Dawlett also reassures AppGratis customers (and investors) that the service continues to work. “Our iOS apps may have been unavailable now for a few days,” he wrote, “but at the same time, a few million free apps have been downloaded through AppGratis since last Friday. So for now, it’s business as usual in AppGratis’s world.”

Image: The Next Web

source: AppGratis
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