Windows Phone Store: these aren’t the Facebook apps you’re looking for

I don’t know what the hell is going over at the Windows Phone Store, but I believe the following screenshots can encapsulate everything that is wrong with Microsoft’s app strategy and approval process for the Store.

Blatant artwork theft, copyright/trademark infringements and deceptive conduct by “developers” who spam the Store with website-wrapper apps. (A problem Microsoft only itself has to blame for submitting many unauthorised website-wrapper apps themselves on behalf of popular brands.)

The following screenshots are taken on 15th of March 2014 10pm searching for “Facebook” on the Australian Windows Phone Store. The first result with 4-and-a-half stars and over a thousand ratings is not the official Facebook app. From the first to the 49th, they are not the official Facebook app (except the second Messenger app which is official but not the app we’re looking for).

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The circled app is the official app. Very obvious right?

The same ridiculous results are also displayed on the phone.

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Thankfully the U.S. Windows Phone Store does not seem to exhibit the same ranking problem for the official app, not to say it’s not full of filth from result three onwards.

I can’t begin to imagine the experience of a customer who just walked out of an Australian mobile phone shop with a new Windows Phone device and goes to try download Facebook from the Store.

I suspect there’s some serious app review manipulations at play here, probably involving bots, that is artificially bumping malicious apps (and possibly demoting the official app).

With all the Microsoft management musical chairs that’s been happening over the past few months, I’m beginning to wonder if anyone is actually still in charge of the Windows Phone Store.

9 insightful thoughts

  1. Yup, had exactly the same issue when i was looking in the Windows Phone Store the other week. I eventually gave up, even the Ratings seem dodgy.

    The same situation applies to Pinterest, among others.

    Microsoft need to sort this out, it’s embarrassing.

    1. Still broken in the Swiss app store. In addition to the fact that it defaults to French (on the website) despite the fact that the vast majority of Swiss people do *NOT* speak french.

  2. So the app store lists results via ratings? Maybe there could be some way where Microsoft could allow “verified” applications to appear first in the results. Something like on Twitter with “verified” accounts. That way if the application is verified it will display first.

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