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Apple’s Stance on LBS Advertising


Apple put out a message recently through their Developer Center which caused a bit of a stir in the LBS community. The take-away some people had was that Apple was banning LBS advertising. Looking at the source, I’m not sure that is true. Here is the relevant text.

If you build your application with features based on a user’s location, make sure these features provide beneficial information. If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store.

I don’t read this as being a total ban on LBS advertising. I read this as saying if you are using the user’s location in your app, you must use it for some core purpose other than simply to provide LBS ads. While I’m certainly not in a position to clarify their statements, here is how I interpret what they said.

If you are the author of a gaming app that doesn’t use the user’s location do do anything other than to deliver an advertisement targeted to the user’s location– that is not going to be allowed.

However if you’ve got an app that uses your location to show you nearby gas stations and fuel prices, then your app wouldn’t be using the user’s location “primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads”.

That’s my read.

One Response

  1. Yep, I interpret it the same way. Advertising is ok if it is not the primary objective. I can see where this will cause a lot of confusion though. Not sure I would want to actually pay for an app with advertising either, though I guess I do with simple things like the paper, magazines, etc………

    patruns - February 5th, 2010

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