Apple has started banning applications that reward you for recommending it to your friends. With revamped policies in the iOS 8 App Store, the apps that provide users incentives for sharing on social networks and those that provide in-game credit for watching videos are under fire, along with apps that promote other apps.
After the revised policies, several developers are receiving rejection notices from Apple, with one individual reporting that a previously approved app was turned down even though he had only added a new skin. When asked for an explanation, an Apple representative said that his game violated guidelines around in-game credits for watching videos and promoting apps other than one’s own. Some developers have received rejection notices for using social sharing as an incentive.
A rejection notice says: “You can advertise your own games via the standard ad networks. However, when you have a ‘More Games’ or ‘Other Games’ you should only market your own games.”
Apart from the revised policies, Apple has announced a number of improvements to the App Store in iOS 8, including video previews, developer bundles, enhanced search and a new “Explore” tab for browsing categories and sub-categories of apps. The company is empowering its app discovery with all these tools and do not want to encourage cross-promotion and social sharing incentives. Now it remains to be seen how many big names will be pulled back for violating the policies.