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article imageJoke app destroys App Store charts, nobody knows how

By James Walker     Jun 7, 2015 in Technology
A fake app that allows you to supposedly see which of your parents you look most like has somehow managed to rise to the top of Apple's charts despite producing completely random results and having hundreds of one-star reviews.
Thai developer Mualchon Chatsuwan published Like Parent to the app store over a year ago. It supposedly allows you to see which of your parents "the most resemble to you" using an "advanced algorithm". In reality, it just produces completely random results, a fact that is admitted in the bizarre app's "disclaimer".
 Like Parent  is the most improbable App Store hit ever
"Like Parent" is the most improbable App Store hit ever
Business Insider
The story was highlighted in Business Insider this week. Like Parent has somehow managed to achieve random usage spikes in the past but what happened this week has never been seen before. Entering the top 250 apps at 218 on May 27th, the app rocketed to the very top for four days from June 1st to June 4th, before falling down to 3rd place.
 Like Parent  is the most improbable App Store hit ever
"Like Parent" is the most improbable App Store hit ever
Business Insider
Nobody is quite sure how Chatsuwan has managed it. Like Parent has been downloaded 1.3 million times in the past 10 days but he consistently maintains that he has never paid for publicity for the app.
 Like Parent  is the most improbable App Store hit ever
"Like Parent" is the most improbable App Store hit ever
Business Insider
Even if he had, it seems unlikely that it could stay at the top of the charts for this long anyway. It has a rating of just 1.5 and over 330 negative reviews in the store where users warn "it’s a scam" and "do not download".
The app is filled with advertisements and a cluttered, confusing design. The redundant "main menu" consists mostly of sponsored links to other apps and the only "functionality" is that users can select photos of their parents from their camera roll.
The app then uses its "advanced algorithm" to give a percentage of how much you resemble each one. The "algorithm" actually just generates a completely random number every time, giving a different result each time that it is run - as several of the app's reviewers have noted.
 Like Parent  is the most improbable App Store hit ever
"Like Parent" is the most improbable App Store hit ever
Business Insider
Chatsuwan also has other apps in the store, including "Like Animal" which lets you see which animal you look most like. None of them have achieved "success" even remotely similar to Like Parent though, which has somehow proved to be the most popular app in the US.
 Like Parent  is the most improbable App Store hit ever
"Like Parent" is the most improbable App Store hit ever
Business Insider
In an email to Business Insider, Chatsuwan said that he has "no idea" over how the app has got to the number one spot. He refused to say how much he has made from it but the sheer number of adverts in the app would suggest quite a lot.
Like Parent highlights how unpredictable mobile apps can be at sometimes. Inexplicably, the fake, joke app has pushed even Facebook and Snapchat down the charts, despite having hundreds of negative reviews. Apple has not yet commented on the bizarre app's continued presence in its top charts and people are continuing to download Like Parent for some reason - a reason that escapes even its developer.
More about Apple, Ios, App, Store, iPhone
 
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