Gaming the Apple Lists – Fast track to fame!

Posted: January 20, 2011 by Sarah in Geek Out, postaday2011
Tags: , , ,

I just had a good laugh at Tech Crunch’s article Want To Top Apple’s All-Time Top Paid Apps List? Sell A Ton Of Apps — Or Do This.

I make the most of the lists of new, popular and free apps and have had a couple of “wins” where an app I’ve put on my wish list is free for a limited time. I figured they were going for the word-of-mouth promotion and given how many kids we know who have access to an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad the word does get out and I get presented with the app store all ready to download some new (invariably ghastly iMobster type thing) app to install once I put in my much protected password.

Getting anywhere on the list of the paid apps is fantastic for the app developers and I’d never questioned how those lists were constucted. I’d figured Apple knew how much money was changing hands and basing it on that – makes sense right?

If, however, they are counting downloads alone then the system is hugely flawed. Go free for a day, week or even month and a half way decent app will be installed a huge number of times – if only because it won’t be free later and it might just be worth it.

I don’t have a vested interest in Apple getting it right, but now that the secret is out it’ll be worth keeping an eye on appshopper, free app of the day etc to see

  • Who is desperate to get up the ranks
  • What you can “score” for free that you might otherwise have paid for!

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