AppEsteem Blog

Happy Third Birthday, AppEsteem!

It's been three years since we started this company and its proposition to help software monetizers thrive by building a self-regulation system.

It's been quite the journey. We spent the first year working through our requirements and building trust with both the security companies and the monetizers. We spent the second year operationalizing our workflow, introducing our Deceptor list, scaling out our business.

This third year has been a solidifying year for AppEsteem. We experimented with new ways to encourage companies to work with us, and we came up with new and improved value propositions. We moved our non-profit alignment from CSA to CleanApps.org. We started certifying anti-malware products and designating them as Deceptor Fighters. We ran several campaigns to help drive needed change, including one that prevents system utilities from abusing free scans results, and another that cleans up badly-behaving affiliates. And we certified three more call centers.

We're very proud of the positive impact we've made for consumers. We know they're in a much better place as they download apps for their PCs. The hundreds of apps we've certified, and the hundreds of apps that have successfully cleaned up after being called out as Deceptors, have helped transform the software monetization world into a kinder and gentler place.

But we're not done. We still see consumer abuse in call centers, download sites, and through rogue affiliates. Sometimes our customers don't act in good faith. And while Windows downloads are now much cleaner, MacOS has gotten noticeably worse, browser extensions and Android apps need more help, and we haven't figured out how to keep Apple and Google paying attention. We need to work on all these problems in our fourth year.

And there's more we're working on. We will soon release Blur, our browser extension that will help consumers "look ahead" and be warned if an ad or a search result will take them to an unsafe site. And we're tinkering with a Most Valuable App program that goes beyond measuring compliance and starts to look at an app's value to consumers.

All of the progress we've made only works because of three things: software monetizers who are committed to building consumer-respecting apps, security partners dedicated to rewarding them while still punishing the unwanted, deceptive vendors, and dedicated employees and partners who work like crazy to make it all happen. Thank you so much for your support!

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