Leaked Picture Shows Possible App Store Ranking Farm

Apple has had a well-know problem with mobile developers using bot programs to autonomously download their apps, boosting their rankings in the App Store. Most apps fail, which shouldn’t be surprising given how many apps show up on a daily basis never to be seen again. Apps live or die by their rankings, hence the rampant manipulation.

Apple has committed to cracking down on manipulation through bot programs, but judging by the picture above, that’s not going to solve the problem entirely. The picture comes from Chinese social media site Weibo and it shows how rankings can be manipulated manually – by actually sitting a physical person down with dozens (if not hundreds) of iPhones, which they can use to download an app multiple times. Those iPhones in the picture are likely only a fraction of the devices actually in the room with her.

Leaked Picture Shows Possible App Store Ranking Farm

The picture directly above supposedly shows the pricing list of a company that developers can hire to get their app into the top ten, which would cost roughly $11,200 initially, with an additional $65,000 each week to keep it there. If that sounds like a lot of money, just consider how much money an app can make if it stays on the App Store top ten.

It’s important to note that these images aren’t verified, but these services definitely do exist, and it seems highly likely that the post image is indeed a ranking farm.

via The Verge

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