It was just confirmed that Apple has removed AppGratis, a popular app discovery application, from the App Store. The confirmation comes from AllThingsD, who report that Apple kicked out AppGratis for violating not one, but two App Store Guidelines. The clauses violated according to Apple were clause 2.25 and clause 5.6, which you can read below:
2.25 Apps that display Apps other than your own for purchase or promotion in a manner similar to or confusing with the App Store will be rejected
5.6 Apps cannot use Push Notifications to send advertising, promotions, or direct marketing of any kind.
Clearly this is bad news for AppGratis and any other apps in the space that use similar tactics. However, what’s more troubling to me is that AppGratis recently raised a $13.5 million series A round of financing. At the time of the announcement, AppGratis claimed that they had a strong footing in the space, with more than seven million users globally, and upward of $1 million in monthly revenue.
Well, they can kiss that all good bye unless they get back in the App Store. Let this be another lesson to businesses that build their business on top of other businesses. That’s not to say it can’t be done successfully, it can be — you just need to be careful and have an excellent plan.
Seriously, just look out how well that has worked out for third-party Twitter developers in recent months or now AppGratis. I’m also surprised they were able to raise so much money when it appears pretty clear that they were in violation of the guidelines all along. Don’t these guys do their due diligence?
Hopefully AppGratis can make it back into the App Store with a modified version of the app or they might need a whole new game plan.