This year-old photo of a woman seated at a wall of Iphones went viral on Chinese social media, where it was identified as a clickfarmer whose job is to repeatedly install apps on multiple phones in order to inflate their App Store ranks.
The service -- which puts your app into the top 10 free apps -- reportedly costs about $11,000 in upfront costs, and $65,000/week for maintenance. Dozens of vendors advertise comparably priced services on China's Taobao marketplace.
For many years, friends who work in app development have muttered darkly about the manipulation of Apple and Google's stores, saying that the largest companies have sewn up the top ten rankings by paying for huge stables of clickfarmers -- and indeed, the same handful of firms have dominated those top ten boards almost since their inception.
The original photo was tweeted on Weibo with the caption, “Hard-working App Store ranking manipulation employee.”
Apple tries to prevent PC-based iPhone emulation programs (bots) made for this purpose and bans apps that use them, so manual labor is the best way to ensure the closest simulation of actual users.
A search for “app store ranking manipulation” (刷榜 app store) on Taobao, China’s most popular C2C ecommerce site, reveals dozens upon dozens of vendors selling similar services. Their prices are listed as one yuan, but it’s more likely that the real negotiations take place through direct chat.
A viral photo in China shows how to manipulate App Store rankings the hard way
[Paul Bischoff/Tech In Asia]
The real estate bubble is in trouble: London's luxury housing market has been in freefall for years, and New York's retail vacancy has been soaring, even as global super-luxe housing is also tanking.
Maria Farrell admits that comparing smartphones to abusive men (they try to keep you from friends and family, they make it hard to study or go to work, they constantly follow you and check up on you) might seem to trivialize domestic partner violence, but, as she points out, feminists have long been pointing out […]
Google will not be required to admit it did anything wrong in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) settlement over complaints the tech giant restricted employees’ speech —- but Google does have to inform employees of their protected free speech rights.
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]
If you’re in the market for a stable, durable camera fully suited for first-person video, there’s a good chance that you’re the adventurous type. So why settle on a familiar name like GoPro? The DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera checks off all the same boxes on the action cam checklist as the GoPro 4K […]