App Store - loose regulation threatens appreneurs future.
App marketers took a big blow in April from Apple. Apple became over active in its crackdown on apps being used as a discovery mechanism for other apps. Apple has regulation 2.25 that does not allow an app to be “mistaken by customers as an app store”. Apple has been using this policy to reject apps of all kinds. Especially those apps that were promoting other apps which were not their own. This technique was creating ad revenue that Apple was not getting. Perhaps they are working on something like this now.
More and more developers are reporting rejections from the App Store because of regulation 2.25. TapJoy and app-shopper are the latest casualties to be reported. Other apps are apps that facilitate filtering, searching, sharing, bookmarking and recommending.
Clearly Apple has widened the scope of this regulation. Regulation 2.25 in its current fast and loose interpretation is a concern for a huge number of Appreneurs. Most Appreneur have a portfolio of apps if for no other reason than to cross promote. It’s pretty well known these days that if you’re going to make money in the iTunes Store you need to have a portfolio of apps. Then you can push advertising across all your apps for click through’s. This creates a snowball effect, which helps Appreneurs remain profitable after the initial spike release of new apps. Each spike release feeds the portfolio and keeps stale apps on top.
Certainly Apple could extend this regulation even further at any time. Currently its scope is so broad that the actual reach of this regulation is yet unclear. There may be a day when promoting your own apps is shut down as well.
An important tool for creating a real business in the iTunes Store is now in question. It will be interesting to see in the coming months how far Apple will extend this regulation.
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