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Top Grossing Manipulation

05-24-2010, 01:10 PM
#1
Senior Member [Original Poster]
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 174
Top Grossing Manipulation

So lately I keep seeing these apps that go from nowhere to the top of Top Grossing. Currently there is "iFail Epic-Fail Pics+Extras(1,300+ Pics)" and over the last few days saw debuts from "iFunny Videos Lite" and "Phone Security Pro" (from the Federal Bureau of Apps guys who I'm pretty sure do some shady App Store marketing based on the popularity of their prank Cell Phone Tracker App).

Anyhow, it suddenly occurred to me what these companies are doing. Basically it looks like they are releasing their apps at some absurd price point (say 599.99), and then buying enough copies to put themselves at the top of Top Grossing, and then putting their app back on sale again. Evidence of this comes from iFunny Videos Lite which I saw listed for $449.99 over the weekend, and which is now $.99.

Am I late to the party here and this is a known exploit, or is this another new thing that Apple will need to account for in their rankings. It's true that Top Grossing < Top Paid by a large margin, but still, it's like buying a number one ranking in a category for a nominal amount of money.
05-24-2010, 02:05 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: the 56th realm of existence
Posts: 5,948
that is sneaky.

Beta tester of 54 games
Quote:
Originally Posted by crex View Post
Thats a nice lookin gun.
05-24-2010, 02:09 PM
#3
I suppose you could put that price up there and then do 50 promo codes. Or something. Otherwise you're losing 30% on each purchase, no?
05-24-2010, 02:13 PM
#4
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: the 56th realm of existence
Posts: 5,948
i dont think promo codes give any profit to you despite counting as a sale, since when i use a promo code on the reciept it says i've spent zero dollars.

Beta tester of 54 games
Quote:
Originally Posted by crex View Post
Thats a nice lookin gun.
05-24-2010, 02:21 PM
#5
Apple ought to just pluck such titles from their leaderboards in the same way that a diligent online administrator attends to known exploits. The problem might be that apple is so politically correct that they feel every app would deserve due process before being removed. I think they should equip one or more alert stooges with a real-time ban hammer, and encourage them to use it on apps that either represent ill will against humanity by their very existence, or that ascended the charts using such an exploit as you mentioned.


Unfortunately there will always be the apps in the grey area, such as the games that dominate top grossing charts very soon after their release, yet whose in-game high score leaderboards contain so few entries as to cast doubt on the general popularity implied in such a relative sales ranking; the latter point is a potential cam of worms, so i'll leave it at that.

Last edited by Grubjelly; 05-24-2010 at 02:24 PM.
05-24-2010, 02:59 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Under Your Bed
Posts: 1,502
Wow.....that's really deceptive, but I must admit, it's very clever...