More WP7 Marketplace spam

We've already waved our hands frantically to Microsoft to get their attention at the sheer volume of spam that was entering the Marketplace, one developer went as far as to create spam apps which served no purpose whatsoever, but were still accepted and certified. This didn't play well with WP7 owners when the platform had just passed the 20,000 app marker.

Microsoft later responded to the complaints (opens in new tab) and shouts from the community for them to alter certification and deflect any future submissions (we still don't understand how an app called SPAM which only contained information stating that it was spam got through). They basically told us that the team would be contacting companies and developers who have submitted a large number of apps that share similar functionality to offer advice in scaling down to one or a few apps (remember those real estate apps?) Also, the number of app submissions per-day were going to be limited:

"To avoid the scenario where bulk publishing crowds out other apps in Marketplace in the future, effective immediately, we are limiting the number of apps any one developer can have certified in a single day to 20. Developers creating a large number of apps can still submit all of them for certification, but they will be certified at a maximum rate of 20 per day rather than all at once."

While the response was welcomed, it hasn't proved effective unfortunately. Take a look at these new RSS apps (opens in new tab) that have flooded in the past two days (we counted 41 in total):

Seems as though Microsoft really does need better detection for spam or multiple apps, I'm not sure how the above RSS apps got through however. Surely one would expect the approval system/team would flag numerous submissions that appeared to be identical or similar to prevent duplication or fragmentation?

C'mon Microsoft, sort this out sooner rather than later. Mango is soon approaching and we need the platform to be spotless to aid conversions and potential buyers in taking the leap for WP7.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • Hahahaha "we still don't understand how an app called SPAM which only contained information stating that it was spam got through" That is simply hilarious...
  • They are using to make those spam apps, making the process alot easier for the app spammers.
  • Been waiting for a Yeshiva University RSS app for quite some time :P
  • LOL
  • I dont see why they dont limit app submission to something like 1 or 2 per day...Really can anyone be cranking out GOOD apps more than 1 a day??
  • I agree on limiting to 1 or 2 per day per publisher. Perhaps publishers who have a valid reason can get special exemption to do 10 per day by going through a vetting process with Microsoft. Since developers might open multiple accounts to get around the constraints perhaps RSS apps should be limited to 10 total per day from all sources. It might even be a good idea to severly constrain submissions from appmakr. This is all harsh, but they need to take steps to keep things from becoming a mess. I don't like Apple's heavy control, but this is not working.
  • While not perfect, actually I think the Marketplace has gotten much better since the new policies were implemented. It's still a pain scrolling through ten or twenty redundant apps, but that's a lot better than 100+. Can't make things too restrictive. One or two is not enough, but twenty is probably a few too many.
  • Microsoft seems to be blindly hitting the accept button on any app that gets submitted, just to get the app count up. I think Microsoft could really use some of Apple's strickt policies, or at least a little bit in that direction. Clean out all those spam apps...
  • I have reported that there are a number of apps with links to illegal ROM sites. The apps only link to a website. I have reported this via twitter, Microsoft answers and via email.Nothing has been done about it. I am sure if Sega or Nintendo were to contact them they would be down in a shot.
  • I spend zero time browsing for apps and am glad to see my app indifference paying off. Basically I wait for someone to show me a type of app on whatever phone or read about one here before diving in. Keep reviewing stuff wpcentral so I can keep ignoring the spam. That's what we pay you
  • here, u can send the money to me and i will forward them to wpcentral (:P)
  • Seriously?just the other day MS announced a APP contest , EVERY single APP you release gives you a chance to win a new Wp7 deviceAnd now your wondering why we are seeing SPAM.... AGAIN!!! i mean COME ON!! wheres the common sens here. and obviously the people filtering the apps arnt doing there jobs.
  • what app contest ??
  • wow, this blog ate my last two comments ! One was looong !... what app contest ?
  • I've been one of the more vocal in the app hub forums to highlight they are either naive or lying when they say they want to combat spam just by issuing such Mickey Mouse rule.This week the spam reached new levels. A guy put out 20 apps that track his progress in xbox games. One per game, just his progress. (he's a nobody)Another guy did an incredibly horrible accelerometer game and replicated 20x You get the usual 100 RSS feed apps, not even one of these is useful. It's like - for every RSS feed in the world, you put out an app.You get a ton of no-real-content apps. It's about 95% spam and 5% real applications. In the recent days you get around 300 new apps a day. Now the good part is this: There is NO-ONE that filters the apps. Yes, the certification team has only two tasks: check the 'technical' requirements and that it doesn't contain unappropriate content (violence, etc). Then EVERYTHING else goes in.Now the last best part: now there is even marketplace reviews spam. Yes, offensive, bulk, generic reviews !!Android has nothing on you wp7 !!!
  • I do agree, Microsoft should consider limiting the number of apps published with an account per day.However, I do not agree with Microsoft limiting the number of a particular kind of app from all sources.As an example, let's say there's a limit of 100 RSS reader apps, and there are 100 in Marketplace. Kiss goodbye someone bothering to try creating a new RSS reading with some real innovation baked in.Instead, I think the answer is the ability to sort Marketplace results by rating. The good apps will naturally bubble to the top.