Amazon offers developers incentives in effort to beef up its app store selection

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You’re a developer. You design a kick-ass app. You launch it. No one downloads it. Bummer.

With so many apps vying for attention, getting your work to stand out from the crowd is surely the greatest challenge facing developers today.

Amazon is hoping that by promising to improve an app’s discoverability in its Appstore, it’ll attract more developers and more apps to its ecosystem, leading to more Kindle Fire tablet owners, more sales within its site and, therefore, more revenue for all involved.

The incentive comes in the form of the Appstore Developer Select program, which the e-commerce giant launched Tuesday.

Premium placement

The company says apps optimized for Amazon’s Appstore and Android-based Fire operating system will receive “premium placement” in its app store, credits for Amazon Web Services, ads via the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, and automatic inclusion in the Amazon Appstore Coins Reward category, which offers customers virtual-coin incentives to purchase the app.

Alongside Appstore and Fire optimization, apps must also include relevant Amazon APIs, including GameCircle, In-App Purchasing, and Mobile Ads. They must also render natively in HD and use the entire screen without distortion, pixelation or stretching, Amazon said in a statement announcing the initiative.

Developers with qualifying apps will be automatically enrolled in the Appstore Developer Select program, Amazon said, while those creating new apps should visit here to find out more about the benefits of the program and how to optimize their work. The program is open to developers everywhere.

Amazon Appstore vice president Mike George believes the new scheme will help developers to get their work noticed and in turn boost sales of the optimized apps.

“With the Appstore Developer Select program, we’re addressing these discoverability concerns by providing developers with enhanced merchandising opportunities. In addition, we’re helping drive sales by offering Coins rewards on high quality, engaging apps for customers.”

With the Google Play store offering more than a million apps, and Apple’s iOS equivalent not far behind, the virtual shelves of Amazon’s Appstore look a little bare with its 100,000 or so apps, though the Seattle-based Web company will be hoping its new program will help to change that.

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