Apple’s constantly evolving set of Apple Store policies cracked down on apps earlier this month that incentivize users to watch crappy video ads for certain rewards. Two weeks later and Apple has already reversed course.
Developers who monetize their apps by offering rewards for sharing to social sites or viewing videos ads were sent packing by Apple’s Review Team, but according to a report from TechCrunch, Apple had a change of heart and is allowing those apps back in the App Store, but there’s a catch.
According to people in the video ad industry, Apple is still rejecting apps that incentivize users to review, rate or download other apps, but it is now allowing developers to give users rewards if they simply watch a video ad or share the app on social networks.
Apple enacted the ban at the beginning of June because it didn’t want these activities to influence an app’s position on the App Store’s Top Charts, which have a history of being vulnerable to manipulation. Developers can still play video ads for other apps, but including any type of direct download link in the experience is forbidden.
The news will certainly be welcomed by developers who were upset that their monetization efforts would be gutted, forcing huge changes to be made. App users on the other hand won’t be thrilled to see the return of opt-in video ads. No one enjoys paying for 10 extra vials of bubble magic potion by watching a 30 second ad, but it beats the alternative of pop-up ads.