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]
Reason's December issue celebrates the magazine's 50th anniversary with a series of commissioned pieces on the past and future of the magazine's subjects: freedom, markets, property rights, privacy and similar matters: I contributed a short story to the issue called Sole and Despotic Dominion, which takes the form of a support chat between a dishwasher […]
At times this week, wildfires made San Francisco's air the worst in the world, and the city's stores have largely sold out of the N95 filter masks that make the air barely breathable, leading to at least one enterprising Uber driver selling the masks out of his car (at a substantial markup: $5 each, compared […]
Amazon is already known for providing dangerous working conditions, anti-union activities and treating their blue collar workforce like a disposable commodity. Since they’re already screwing folks at work, it must have seemed like a natural progression to screw them at home too. From Politico: Amazon’s plans to expand into Long Island City may cost Mayor […]
Ever wondered what it takes to make the transition from amateur photography to a full career? If you answered “a better camera,” you’re half right. Before you get the equipment, get the know-how to use it with the Hollywood Art Institute Photography Course & Certification. Taught by experienced pros, this course is geared towards shutterbugs […]
Anyone can learn piano, but don’t tell that to the bored kids who had to endure hours of “Chopsticks” and similar drills in their music lessons. Today, there’s a better way. Pianoforall lets you jump right in to discover what makes music fun, leaving you eager to learn more. In a simple but innovative approach, […]
There are two times you never want to just “eyeball” it: Conducting brain surgery and matching shades of paint for your walls. Whether you’re painting or repainting, make sure you’re never just “close enough” to the color you want. Not when the Nix Mini Color Sensor can scan and match any color perfectly. Small enough […]