Is someone gaming the Android Market?
January 16, 2011 7:57 AM   Subscribe

Android Market: Why does "Talking Tom Cat" always come up front & center when I open the Market on my Android phone?

I understand there are algorithms to pick up the most downloaded and/or highest rated apps on the Market and feature them. But the very first one I always see is this crappy looking app that is apparently just a talking, farting cartoon cat. There's just no way this is the most downloaded (for one thing, it's not free) or highest rated app in the Market.

So - why does it keep showing up as the featured app? Is someone gaming the algorithm to make it work that way? What's the expectation for Google to fix it, if that's the case?
posted by gazole to Technology (11 answers total)
Response by poster: I guess I should quickly add that if this is some kind of pop culture phenomenon that has passed me by, feel free to point that out as well.
posted by gazole at 8:02 AM on January 16, 2011

I don't know why, but it shows up the same for me, every time.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 8:10 AM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: That app was in the Top 10 in the iPhone app store for ages a few months ago... so maybe it really is the most downloaded app?
posted by ClarissaWAM at 8:25 AM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: Trust me, it's just that popular. Stupid, but popular. Many of my friend's phones and iPads have this app on it, and I've seen them interact with it before. So it's just one of those things that I, and apparently you, do not comprehend.
posted by msbutah at 9:08 AM on January 16, 2011

Best answer: Same here. I'm thinking it must be like this century's Bonzi Buddy.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:39 AM on January 16, 2011

Response by poster: What's that quote? "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the public."

It boggles my mind that this app is more popular than Facebook or Angry Birds, but here we are.

Thanks all.
posted by gazole at 10:16 AM on January 16, 2011

My sister has this app. I have seen it in the wild. It usually becomes hilarious after alcohol.
posted by typewriter at 10:17 AM on January 16, 2011

You are also underestimating the number of kids with iPads and iPhones these days. All of my nieces and nephews love the Talking Tom app. I've seen them play with it and laugh for over an hour at a time. It's a very, very, very popular app with kids.
posted by tommccabe at 10:22 AM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I am a language teacher and I use this app all the time. Nothing motivates a reluctant reader like having the story read back to him in a funny voice by a ridiculous-looking cartoon cat! My students love it.
posted by JoannaC at 10:34 AM on January 16, 2011

I have this app because in talking about kids my hair stylist said her 2 year old loves it and, well, it turns out so does my 2 year old nephew. It's a cheap way to keep kids entertained for a while so I'll bet it's very popular with parents (or, say, aunties). Also, the basic version is free - if you want it to fart you have to pay extra - and that's probably what happens. The free version lets you talk and transforms your words into what the cat says. That's stupid fun with my nephew.
posted by marylynn at 12:22 PM on January 16, 2011

I have the same thing front and centre on my Android market as well, I wish google had a 'not interested' button to make the recommendations switch out.
posted by tiamat at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

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