Guidelines for Software Developers

MacRumors provides special support, as described in this Guide, to developers of applications in Apple's App Store and Mac App Store and to other developers of software applications for OS X. If you are an application developer in these categories you are welcome to take advantage of the forum privileges described here, as long as you observe the responsibilities and restrictions as well. Our sister sites touchArcade and AppShopper provide reviews, discussion, and information about App Store applications. All of our sites offer advertising opportunities. The special forum privileges for software developers are provided in the five software application forums:

The first 4 are collectively called the Software Discussion Forums in these guidelines.

We offer the chance for unpaid software promotion by developers because we think having developers participate directly benefits our forum community. These privileges apply only to software developers for App Store apps, Mac App Store apps, and other Macintosh software, not to manufacturers or distributors or sellers of accessories or to individuals or organizations hired to help promote products.

Privileges

If you are an App Store or Mac App Store or other Mac OS X software developer then you may:

  • use a MacRumors account on behalf of yourself and your company. You may have at most one account. Multiple people may not share an account, even if they represent the same company.
  • promote your own products in your own threads in the user discussion forums listed above. Promotion includes describing, announcing, and discussing your applications that are available or are expected to become available. MacRumors forums outside the Software Discussion forums and Code Sharing forum are ad-free areas and may not be used for these promotions.
  • solicit suggestions or feedback in the appropriate forum thread, solicit volunteer beta testers for your applications, discuss prices, and answer questions from forum members. You may address comments and questions about your application in threads in the Software Discussion forums only if the thread was started to discuss your specific application. This does not include threads about the subject or purpose of your application. For example, if your application is named Lemurs of Madagascar you may post in another user's thread named New features I want in Lemurs of Madagascar but not in a thread named Any good applications about lemurs?
  • provide promo codes or serial numbers in threads and posts in the Code Sharing and Software Promos forum. Posts with promo codes or serial numbers should not be made in other forums. For the purpose of these guidelines "serial numbers" refers to serial numbers, codes, keys, or other equivalent method by which you give licenses to users for use of your software. Announcements of free downloads or software giveaway contests are equivalent to promo code or serial number threads so they too belong only in the Code Sharing and Software Promos forum.
  • participate in the many other MacRumors forums as would any other member, as long as you don't post product promotions outside the Software Discussion and Code Sharing forums. The normal Forum Rules apply in other forum sections and the privileges for software developers do not. However, see the Forum Rules for other privileges given to vendors who identify themselves appropriately.

Responsibilities

If you are an App Store or Mac App Store or other Mac OS X software developer then you must:

  • start at most one thread for each of your applications, or major releases of an application, for each platform on which it runs, i.e., at most one thread each in the iOS Apps, Apple Watch Apps, Mac Apps and Mac App Store and Apple TV Apps forums.
  • use thread titles that reflect the name of the application.
  • post in your previous threads rather than new threads to give news updates about an application, including minor releases, bug fixes, price changes, sales, or special offers. If there are multiple forum members from your company, they must follow this rule collectively.
  • make clear that you are the software developer and what company you represent. If you post links to the App Store then users can find your company name and URL in the App Store. Otherwise (particularly for Mac developers) we strongly recommend that you identify yourself by company name and URL in the first post when you start a thread in the Software Discussion forums. If the moderators can't tell that you are the developer of software you promote, your threads or posts may be removed. We also suggest that you fill in your home page and URL in your User Profile so users of your applications can easily find your website. You are also welcome to put the link in your forum signature; normal rules for forum signatures apply to developers.

Note: The one-thread limitation applies to the Software Discussion forums but you may start more than one thread for promo codes or serial numbers, as the need arises, in the Code Sharing and Software Promos forum.

Restrictions

If you are an App Store or Mac App Store or other Mac OS X software developer then you must not:

  • use the privileges listed above on behalf of another developer or another developer's products.
  • promote your application as if you are a consumer instead of the developer.
  • promote your application outside the Software Discussion and Code Sharing forums, except as permitted in user profiles and signatures by the Forum Rules.
  • post unnecessarily (without something new to say) simply to call attention to your thread or MacRumors account, or to build traffic at your website. The forum rule prohibition on "bumps" applies to all users. Your forum participation should consist of more than just posting links or information copied and pasted from your website.
  • post promo codes or serial numbers outside the Code Sharing and Software Promos forum. Thread or posts elsewhere containing promo codes or serial numbers will be removed or moved by the moderators.
  • offer employment, solicit work, or make other posts that fall under the Marketplace Rules.

Other guidelines

  • Watch your threads. We encourage you to watch your threads and respond to questions from other forum users. Subscribing to your own threads with email notification is recommended.
  • User threads. Even though you should limit your promotional threads to at most one per product or major product release, you are welcome to discuss your application and address comments and questions in threads about your product started by other forum users. If the topic is specific or doesn't require your participation, that's fine, but if it becomes a full discussion in parallel with your own "official" thread, we suggest that you provide a link to direct people to your own thread, or contact the moderators for assistance. We don't hold you responsible for posts by other members, but we appreciate your cooperation in keeping extended discussion of your application to a limited number of threads, in fairness to other application developers.
  • Discussion in promo code and serial number threads. If users make discussion posts, not about promo codes or serial numbers, in your promo code or serial number thread, you are welcome to direct them with a link to your main thread for that application, to consolidate the discussion in one place. You must not use promo code or serial number threads to bypass the one-thread rules above.
  • Customer service. We ask that you not use your forum threads for extended customer service for individual problems. Discussing bugs or features to keep users informed is fine, but please direct people to your support URL when appropriate so that threads do not get derailed with drawn-out service issues. If forum users aren't cooperative, please let the moderators know.
  • Off-topic posts. Posts in your threads by people not interested in your application will be considered off-topic. Such posts should be reported to the moderators. For example, if you announce your product and someone posts "sorry, not interested", let the moderators know. The normal forum rules against useless posts apply.
  • Criticism. Posts that are critical of your application or compare it to other products are not out of bounds a priori. If you suspect a poster has bad intentions, e.g., trying to promote sales of a competing product or posting as harassment, report the posts to let us know. Otherwise, accept that any software product may get negative comments from some people.
  • Advertising at MacRumors. iOS and Mac developers as well as other Mac OS X developers and hardware vendors are welcome to contact us about MacRumors advertising opportunities, and to contact our sister sites. You are also welcome to support MacRumors as described in the MacRumors FAQ.
  • Changes to guidelines and privileges. MacRumors reserves the right to change these guidelines from time to time, and to deny these privileges to forum members who abuse or misuse them. If Apple adds new programmable devices, we expect to expand these guidelines to cover them. Determining when use of the forums is out of compliance with these guidelines or with the forum rules is up to the moderators. You may contact us if you have questions or concerns about the rules, guidelines, or moderation.
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