Bribery, Porn, and Spam Are the Path to Riches in the App World | Wired

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As money floods into their market, and the stakes get ever higher, app makers are getting paranoid. Paranoid that competitors are buying traffic spikes, using porn to attract users, and spamming everyone and their mom on the way to the top of the leaderboards. Above all, app makers are paranoid that the competition is playing dirty better than they are — tricking users out of their time and investors out of their money.

“I do believe people try to manipulate their download numbers and chart position around a financing,” says Matt Murphy, an investment partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “It seems everybody raising money has just hit some inflection in their numbers, so either they wait until that happens or manufacture it.”

If the web is dead, and the open ecosystem of the browser is being replaced by tightly controlled apps, then it’s more than just venture capitalists and software creators who should take heed of such questionable practices. In the exploding app universe there are more hiding places for unscrupulous startups to violate your privacy, waste your time and toy with your reputation. And if current trends in capital and user flows continue, it’s only going to get worse.

See on http://www.wired.com

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