Android Market goes live

Greg Sterling reports on SEL that the G1 Arrives, So Does Android Market. It marks the second inning in the game of mobile search uptake and promises to open up the market for end users and developers. These are exciting times for mobile search. The development of powerful hand held mobile computing devices with a choice of software, like the iPhone and the G1, will put that power into the hands of many, many users.

Of more interest to me though, is the difference in philosophy between the Apple Apps Store and the Android Market and how that will impact uptake. Google’s choice is for a totally open market place while Apple’s is for a more controlled user experience. Greg notes: ..unlike Apple, there will be no quality control in the Android Market other than the community, which will be able to rate/review the apps.

This openness in the Android Market is much like Google’s approach to local listings. They have faith that the market will self manage or if it doesn’t that the benefits (to them) outweigh the downsides. Markets, as we have seen recently, are not totally rational.

That certainly seems to be the case in the Local Listing arena where greed overwhelms the common space making many search listings almost useless. When money is involved and there is little accountability, we humans have an amazing propensity to “game” the system. Once the profit opportunities become apparent in the Android Market, given its openness, much the same is likely to happen. It will be exciting to watch and frustrating to be a part of.

What do you think Android MarketSpam will look like?

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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5 thoughts on “Android Market goes live”

  1. Probably start with a twist on the usual Ringtone spam, repackaged as a “GooglePhone app.” Marketers will also list free stripped-down apps to entice people, then send them outside of the Android marketplace to purchase the “upgrades” on their own turf.

  2. What about the $9.95 app whose reviews have been pumped up via bot or offshore labor and rises to the top of the heap for “excellence”?

    Mike

  3. I can’t be sure we will necessarily face spam as all the developers will need to register first and pay the $25 application fee. I guess it will also be possible to ban developers for violating ToS and submitting some spammy applications. I am not a big fan of crowdsourcing myself but I hope this developers registration will serve as some sort of a protection it will work for Google.

  4. @Svetlana

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Much like Maps, the Android Market is not “monetized” for Google direct benefit. Since it does not generate money directly, Google Maps seems to be understaffed and enforcement of TOS seems to be on an ad hoc basis.

    Some of the abuses have been quite egregious (use Mapspam to market to people with HIV or for ambulance chasing of train wreck victims) and Google’s response has been after the fact and slow.

    While only a small % of developers will abuse the system, it is open to abuse and the promise of short term profits will obviously be an allure to some. Whether in the end, this affects enough users negatively to color their perception of Google and impact their income is the question.

    Mike

    BTW nice article on the Android Market.

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