Apple Halts Shake-to-Open-Ad Feature, Multiple Apps Affected 

During this year’s “11.11” promotion season in China, the abundance of “Shake to Open” ads has caused many user complaits. Apple begins to restrict the feature.

The “Shake to Open” feature uses the phone’s gyroscope permission, which has been around for a long time and was once used by many apps as a promotional tool. Nowadays, it is often used for ad page redirection. However, some phones do not have a gyroscope permission switch, so users cannot turn it off themselves. E-commerce platforms have been placing a large number of ads on various apps, which can be triggered in different ways, including clicking on the ad page or shaking the phone. Once triggered, the phone page will be redirected to the shopping apps.

Since November, Apple has notified several leading apps in China to remove the gyroscope permission, effectively banning “Shake to Open” ads. According to reports, the apps that received the notice include but are not limited to short video apps, emails, social media apps, and more.

This news was confirmed by an anonymous source in the advertising industry, who revealed to domestic media outlet Time News that their client, an internet giant with leading industry apps, also received a notice from Apple. The impact is understood to be much broader than just mainstream apps. 

Wang Shui, the head of the Advertising Department at the Capital University of Economics and Trade, said that “Shake to Open” ads is a common form of advertising in many apps. The reason for their emergence is that platform advertising revenue is not only related to exposure, but also related to user interaction. Therefore, clicking or “Shake to Open” has become one of the revenue sources for the platform, and the “Shake to Open” function can increase the chance of ad clicks and ensure platform advertising revenue. However, as many users began to report and complain about the omnipresent “Shake to Open” feature, the industry association and related organizations have begun to introduce management norms at the beginning of this year.

On December 2, 2022, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology published an article stating that it has joined forces with Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, Alibaba, and other companies to restrict and standardize “Shake to Open” ads in various apps. The specific requirements are that the triggering acceleration should not be less than 15m/s², the rotation angle should be greater than 35°, and the operation time should not be less than 3 seconds.