Nobody knows precisely how many iPhone apps there are. This is because aside from the tens of thousands of apps on the iPhone app store, Apple rejects an untold number of apps each week. The reasons for rejection are numerous, ranging from piracy concerns to functionality that duplicates something offered natively on the iPhone.
Until now, Facebook apps have been a proving grounds of sorts for eventual iPhone apps. It’s a fast, easy platform that allows for rapid testing and feedback from either people within your own network or the public at large. This provides the opportunity to improve an app based on real user experience prior to creating it for mobile use.
But as reported by Stuart Dredge, companies including RealNetworks and Spotify are using social media as a PR tool in hopes that it will help them get on the app store in the first place. The idea, as Dredge explains it, is to provide a sneak peak to journalists and bloggers that will create advance press and demand before Apple’s own review process. Theoretically, then, this might either expedite Apple’s own review process and also make it more likely that they will experience a backlash if an app isn’t approved at all.
We’d love to hear additional examples of companies using social media – including Facebook or Twitter – to create advance buzz.