Following a number of incidents over the past few months, (which have ultimately resulted in the company having to fend against a small group of its developer membership base purposely trying to manipulate its Top App Charts), Apple has this week sent a warning shot to all developers warning against such methods, and the consequences involved, if they are found to be manipulating any app chart it provides to its users through the iTunes App Store.
Posted to the Apple Developer Dashboard yesterday, the note read:
Adhering to Guidelines on Third-Party Marketing Services
Feb 6, 2012
Once you build a great app, you want everyone to know about it. However, when you promote your app, you should avoid using services that advertise or guarantee top placement in App Store charts. Even if you are not personally engaged in manipulating App Store chart rankings or user reviews, employing services that do so on your behalf may result in the loss of your Apple Developer Program membership. Get helpful tips and resources on marketing your apps the right way from the App Store Resource Center.
News of Apple’s warning to developers follows our friends at PocketGamer recently highlighting a number of under-hand services in which developers – (if they so choose) – could pay sums in excess of $5,000 to ensure their app(s) break into the Top 25 iTunes app chart, via the use of automated bots and scripts which would be trained to re-download said app(s).[via MacStories]