Fiksu and TinyCo worked with bots

Some developers admitted that they used the services of bots. Among them are such companies as Fiksu, TinyCo and Storm8. Apparently, it’s time for Apple to change the ranking algorithm. 

After the programmer Walter Kaman announced last week that the price of getting into the top free applications is 5 thousand dollars, a whole scandal broke out. 

It was aggravated by Apple, saying that it was aware of this practice. In addition, she warned developers against using such services, saying that she would ban companies seen in this.  

Now the story with bots is entering a new round: the other day, those who have already managed to use the services of bots came out with ambiguous statements. 

Micah Adler, CEO of the marketing company Fiksu, said that they “were offered a similar service a few months ago.” Moreover, they accepted the offer because “it was presented to us as a kind of advertising network.” However, Adler claims that they stopped using it after it turned out that users after downloading “did not even launch the application.” 

The founder of a small TinyCo studio, Suli Ali, in connection with Karman’s statement that the game Tiny Pets (one of Tiny Co’s latest hits) was promoted using bots, noted that his company “stopped cooperating with those companies whose traffic sources are not sure.” At the moment, according to Ali, Tiny Co cooperates only with such “transparent” companies as iAd, Ad Mob and Chartboost.

The executive director of Storm8 studio, Perry Tam, turned out to be even more sincere in the comments, saying that “we cannot say with certainty whether we used the services of bots or not.” However, after some time, an official comment was received, in which there was no trace of the former doubts: “Storm8 does not need to use bots and opposes their use. Most downloads are provided by our own network consisting of 5 million active users.” 

Anyway, after Apple’s warning about the ban, the positions of some games from TinyCo (Tiny Zoo Friends) and Storm8 (iMobsters) in the top of free apps on the App Store have dropped significantly. However, over time they quickly got better. 

In any case, the situation requires an urgent solution. And it is from Apple. Third-party observers do not have the ability to control the tops, but an Apple company that is able to monitor the use of applications on iOS, with proper control, can see in which applications there is an increase in downloads without a commensurate increase in usage. 

However, monitoring hundreds of thousands of applications is a very time–consuming and far from the most effective solution. The problem could be solved by a new rating algorithm that would rely not on the volume of downloads, but, for example, on the frequency of use.

By the way, there is something for “Apple” to learn from Google. When compiling a rating in the Android Market, the following factor is taken into account, among other things: whether the user erases the application immediately after installation or not.

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