Pay Per Install Apps Being Rejected From the App Store?


Yesterday news broke about Apple apparently changing the algorithm in the way apps are ranked in its Top Charts. Today, new reports state that apps with pay-per-install incentives are being rejected from the App Store, according to one of the largest providers, TapJoy.

Pay-per-install apps are ones that ask users to download and ‘try out’ other games, in order to get free in-game credits. You know, those annoying notifications trying to persuade you to get more gold/ammo/lives/plants/animals/etc?

These apps push the line of confusing users as mixed within these free downloads are actual in-app purchases. One errant tap, and boom there goes a hit to your credit card linked to your iTunes account.

Section 3.10 of the Apple Developer program reads:

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 will be removed from the iOS Developer Program

Personally, I’m happy that Apple is making this change, as there are a tonne of free apps out there that try to pull a fast one on unsuspecting users. I’ve had some horrible experiences with apps that somehow make it into the top charts, via these pay-per-install methods. By offering credits for downloads, it’s a blatant attempt at gaming chart rankings.

How has your experience been with these ‘free’ pay-per-install apps?



  • Jonduke

    … I played a free ame and downloaded the free apps in order to get credits and was happy about it… I dont have any payment methods linked to my itunes account so the app can’t trick me in buying..

    Plus, you have to confirm the purchase once you get in the app store… So if you actually get charged, it’s 100% your fault…

  • Anonymous

    I’m always happy to be rid of the spammers, scamers, frauds, manipulators and perpetrators of unscrupulous marketing campaigns. If an app is free it should truly be free.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like the whole “smurf berry” sales model. I’ll stick to supporting the games you only need to to pay for once. Screw micro payments.

  • JfromK

    Pisses me off to no end. The “FREE” handy little app for doing something. But it’s entire use is to advertise for the paid version! with Nagging, Banner Ads etc. etc.. Maybe this isn’t the same thing? but it’s annoying!

  • Adrian

    And how do you expect the developer to live from!? The air!??