Bulk app publishing under the Microsoft microscope

Published by at

Todd Brix has announced, through the Windows Blog, a tightening of the submission process on the Windows Phone Marketplace. Starting last week, developers will no longer be able to publish 20 apps in a single day to the Marketplace. The limit is now 10. This is to maintain a good spread of unique applications into the Marketplace and featuring in the new and updated lists.

While it is a tougher stance, there's still a number of obvious loopholes that people could use (and handily pointed out in the comments) - after all who can code ten different applications a day, every day for a month or more, if they're not creating cookie cutter applications?

On the other hand, I can see someone in marketing wanting to keep the Marketplace app count rising as quickly as possible.

The good news though is that the Microsoft are aware of the problem and are engaging with the users through the Windows Team blog. Hopefully they can take the necessary action, both in the submission process and the algorithms powering top lists and search.

Here's an extract from the blog post:

Windows Phone Marketplace is committed to providing customers with a wide range of certified applications, increasing and curating app quality and providing a safe, reliable and convenient shopping experience. Delivering on this commitment requires that we carefully track behavior within our Marketplace and share with you when we adjust our policies to improve the Windows Phone experience. The good news is that the growing popularity and global availability of Windows Phone have already begun attracting more developers. However, we have also seen another spike in what we call bulk app publishing. This is the phenomenon whereby a developer publishes a large number of very similar apps in a single day. As a result the popular “New” Marketplace category fills quickly, pushing the other new apps out and reducing the diversity of the shopping experience.

The first step we took to curb this behavior was to limit the number of apps that one developer can have certified in a single day to 20. We are again observing a small number of developers publishing apps in bulk. Therefore, Effective Friday 9/30 we are limiting the number of apps that can be published in a single day without prior agreement to 10.