Good Results, Bad Press

Yesterday our friends from Four Bros Studio posted a great detailed overview of their commercial success with Taptitude. It’s a must read for every current or aspiring Windows Phone developer. (And here is our interview with them from last month).

The AdDuplex Push

As part of their write up they’ve provided this graph of impressions they got on Microsoft pubCenter


As you can see they’ve mentioned AdDuplex in this chart and then explained what has happened during these marked periods.

There are two clear dips in this chart that show when we diverted our pubCenter ads over to AdDuplex during different marketing blitz efforts.

Later on Brandon has elaborated on this in comments:

We think AdDuplex played a role in our recent success. You can see in the graph above that there are two major dips due to AdDuplex. This is because we diverted pubcenter ads over to AdDuplex in a marketing blitz. The major rise in new users was shortly after our big AdDuplex push.

While I don’t claim that AdDuplex was the main source of the recent growth of popularity, I’m pretty sure we’ve contributed. What I think actually happened (and that’s just a guess) was that marketing push on AdDuplex helped Taptitude rise in the charts and then being high on the “top apps” lists did its thing.

In our interview with the guys a month ago they mention:

Despite being a slow start, we’re now pulling in 10-15k per month in ad revenue, and yet we’ve never been very highly downloaded (ranked 150th ATM).

But if you look at the list of top free apps today, here is what you see:


Taptitude is #2 free app in the US marketplace today. So, I think the short concentrated push on AdDuplex contributed to the initial jump in popularity and then it just snowballed from there.

Bad Press

Unfortunately for those unfamiliar with what AdDuplex is, it wasn’t clear from the chart and initial write up what actually happened there. It probably looked like the guys tried another ad network competing with Microsoft’s pubCenter and it didn’t work out well.

The success story was picked up by all of the Windows Phone oriented blogs and even more mainstream media, such as Business Insider. Unfortunately Julie Bort from Business Insider perceived the chart the way I just described and not the way I explained in the top part of this post. So she wrote:

To keep it free, Taptitude sold ads. They used Microsoft’s pubCenter. They posted details on how much money they made through pubCenter and another ad service, AdDuplex.They are now making around $1,000 a day.

AdDuplex pretty much stunk for FourBros.

Ouch. This hurts 🙂 Especially since it’s not true. AdDuplex is not really a direct competitor to pubCenter. We are actually listed as partners on the Microsoft App Hub and as JC Cimetiere (from Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer ecosystem team) says – AdDuplex+pubCenter is a winning recipe:



The key takeaway from this story for me is that we should work harder on communicating what we actually do. As the first order of business this morning, I did what I was contemplating for a few months. I’ve rebranded AdDuplex from “ad exchange network for Windows Phone”

adduplex-ad exchange

to “cross-promotion network for Windows Phone apps”


This is what we actually do and the term “ad exchange” has changed it’s meaning dramatically from the 90s and is now used to represent ad networks facilitating bidding on ads, rather than exchanging of advertising between peers.

I doubt this would’ve helped to avoid the confusion in this particular case but that’s a step in the right direction, in my opinion. Don’t be shy and feel free to suggest other ways we can communicate our mission better in the comments.

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