Down but not out, TapJoy confirmed to AllThingsD that it is modifying its incentivized purchases to work within Apple’s new ranking system and to ensure its apps will make their way into the App Store.
Last week, Apple made changes in its app store ranking system that downplayed the ranking of apps, and reviewers even rejected some apps that include cross-application marketing programs. The largest company affected by these changes was TapJoy, a social and mobile game distribution network that offers these “incentivized purchases.”
In this system, an app developer pays money to be promoted by another application within TapJoy’s network. When a user wants to purchase an in-app item like a new level, the user can download one of these sponsored apps in lieu of paying for the upgrade using virtual currency. This system increases the potential audience for these smaller developers and helps them increase their download numbers. TapJoy’s system was so successful it artificially propelled some apps to the top of the App Store because they were downloaded so often.
TapJoy modified its cross-marketing system and these changes appear to be working. CEO Mihir Shah confirmed “[Apple has] rejected certain apps for a certain mechanism. When we have tweaked that mechanism we have seen apps approved.” These changes supposedly include a self-imposed cap that limits the usage of these pay-per-install promotions.
Shah also re-iterated that TapJoy is just going through some growing pains and Apple has not “shut them down.” While TapJoy struggles, this circumstance may pave the way for other app networks like Appia and GetJar to make inroads into this lucrative mobile marketing approach.