Apple clamps down on apps monetising video views and social sharing

10 Jun 2014

Apple is undertaking the biggest shake-up in the mobile app industry after it announced it is to ban apps that attempt to make money through incentivised video views and social sharing.

While not available to the general public just yet, app developers will need to think fast as to how to find ways of making money through apps as this move will be considered significant enough that the entire financial model of an already unstable market will need a drastic overhaul.

The App Store is due for a major facelift, as well as considerable technical changes as to how people can purchase and download apps but this move, according to TechCrunch, is also a major show of strength from Apple, which will soon remove the ability for apps to advertise or highlight other apps within its own product, but will now be the centre point for all future app discovery and sharing.

The move also appears to be far from simply just any future apps looking to get their name on the App Store, but is also expected to retroactively search through the store and locate any apps that offer any rewards for watching an advert, clicking a link or asking to share it on social media.

Highlighting an online discussion between iOS app developers, there appears to be differing opinions between them as to whether this new clampdown is beneficial or harmful to the industry.

In one thread about the decision, a developer says: “So we can’t encourage users to share stuffs [sic] on social networks anymore? This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and even Candy Crush uses it. Has anyone experienced this?”

Meanwhile, another developer states that the introduction is actually quite beneficial to the sector as he/she believes too much focus had been placed on monetising the app, rather than making it successful. “I think this is not so bad at all, most of us are now focussing [sic] on these promotion tactics (yep, me too) instead of the app itself.

“Apple did a good job on this one because this will stop getting the clones ranked higher and gives us (indies) a better chance to also get noticed, if they can make sure that also the big apps remove these in-app promotion tactics.”

Apps image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic