Make365 - Theory on the Rise of "Flappy Bird" and "Red Bouncing Ball Spikes"

There's been a lot of hubbub over the unexpected rise of "Flappy Bird" and this "Red Bouncing Ball Spikes" on the iTunes store. My theory is that those guys have figured out the best way to game the algorithm (example: top 10 rankings takes into consideration # of installs in the last 2 hours) and have paid to do so (example: paying for FB Likes). Unless caught, no one would know. Once you're in the top 5, you're almost guaranteed to make that investment back, especially if it was only in the range of a few thousands of dollars.

There are different occurrences of this happening, but it's usually in the world of music. You have this report of DJs doing it, but were sent to jail for doing so with stolen credit cards. You also have this Wired.Com article about what's wrong with the music business, mainly highlighting the fact that labels can buy back their own albums to boost rankings.

We don't know the secret algorithm that Apple has for their store, just like we don't know the algorithm to increase your site ranking on Google searches, but there is something that determines if one app is going to rank higher than another.

It's like gaming Jeopardy.