I've reread the OP and now clearly see the single word (!) which distorts the holy meaning of the whole thing and irritates the most of the commenters. I must immediately update it.

The OP title shall be now read as:

Why doesn't Stack Exchange reward some reputation points for installing & using mobile app?

I agree that rewarding reputation for solely using mobile app makes no sense as it doesn't generate any research effort for the Community. If I were you, I would also downvote this concept.

Another point - is installing SE mobile app, which definitely worth a reward to those who installed it. They might be one time rewarded with +5 rep.

A few examples of the concept:

  • establish a new Dropbox account and get 2Gb as a reward.
  • register Lufthansa/Emirates/Delta, etc. Frequent Flyer account and get 500-1000 miles start reward.
  • establish an Assembla account and get a free repo up to 1Gb.

The true meaning of a reward is to stimulate users to use the services. Either ways. What currency does SE use to stimulate interest and activity? You know the answer.

Original title and body

Why doesn't Stack Exchange reward some reputation points for installing & using mobile app?

Imho, installing and using Stack-Exchange mobile app shows trust, interest and loyalty. Which is way more serious than just upvoting a silly comment.

This action shall be rewarded :)

  • 7
    You could argue it shows those things (although I'm not so sure), but what benefit does it give to SE and its users? It's posting, editing etc. that matters. (upvoting comments doesn't affect reputation btw). Jul 29, 2015 at 19:14
  • @GeorgeDuckett what about push-notifications on my iPhone? Myself, I find them quite useful. Sometimes I just forget to check my SO posts on the website. Mobile app reminds me in a friendly manner. Jul 29, 2015 at 19:18
  • 4
    I'm not saying the apps aren't useful (I love the android one), I'm just saying that it doesn't benefit other users, or SE directly. I agree that you could argue it does to a degree, after all I got a notification on my phone of your comment and am replying quicker than if I just came back to SE for something else / to check later. I'm saying that this benefit is minor compared to the other activities users are encouraged to do via reputation (and badges). Jul 29, 2015 at 19:21
  • Wow! -4 in 20 minutes! I heard that SE people are sometimes arrogant to the newcomers, but I never thought they are THAT arrogant. Thanks for welcoming my first post, folks. And my last post. Jul 29, 2015 at 19:33
  • 5
    @Interface Downvotes in meta.SE only mean disagreement. If you take them personally, that's your problem.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:36
  • 3
    While we don't award rep, you have my personal thumbs up. Thanks for using the app! 👍 Jul 29, 2015 at 19:36
  • 4
    FWIW I've not voted on your post, but I think calling downvoters arrogant is a bit unfair. On meta downvotes usually show dis-agreement. Possibly for reasons I've mentioned (since my comments got a couple of upvotes I think that's a fair assumption that it's true for some of the downvoters of your post at least). Jul 29, 2015 at 19:43
  • 2
    @InterfaceUnknown: It absolutely doesn't mean F off, you are nothing. It does only mean, "I don't agree". It says nothing of what the downvoter thinks of the poster. SE strongly encourages voting based on posts/content not posters. Jul 29, 2015 at 19:45
  • 5
    How did you conclude that? For example my downvote means no, it wouldn't be a good idea. Imagine this implemented, and someone dedicated to SE will come complaining: I'm being unfairly treated. Why doez X haz more repz than me just cuz he haz the SE app? Get the picture? || On another note, you have never said why this would be a good idea. Just the fact that it encourages using the app isn't enough. Some people here don't even use mobile for SE.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:45
  • @InterfaceUnknown In the first iteration of Stack Overflow support we used Uservoice, and ideas were upvoted and downvoted based solely on whether users thought the idea should be implemented or not. It had nothing to do with the value of the person, or not really even the value of the idea. It had more to do with the community trying to prioritize ideas. While voting on meta is a little different - it's a combination of whether one likes the idea as well as whether the "question" is well written and argued, it's still more a prioritization queue than an indicator of badness.
    – Pollyanna
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    @InterfaceUnknown As such, consider ignoring the downvotes, and responding to the criticisms and ideas others bring to the table. It's a discussion, and you will convince more people of the merit of your idea with sound points than worrying about the voting pattern.
    – Pollyanna
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:52
  • 1
    Definitely yes. Bad ideas will get their downvotes. I'm still amazed that you're taking downvotes personally, while the arguments for disagreements are well-established. All of us had 1 rep once.
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:54
  • 4
    I wonder what Jeff Atwood(co-founder) did to all those downvoters when proposed his idea Should we have a policy about “too much downvoting”? He can go inside the DB and will know who did it... Jul 29, 2015 at 20:13
  • 1
    @HackerKarma: Clearly Jeff is not a member of the Club, right? *cough* Jul 29, 2015 at 20:34
  • 1
    Of course I do... but the answers only address a one-time reward for installing the app. Neither answer addresses getting additional rewards for using it.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 29, 2015 at 21:21

2 Answers 2


Installing the app doesn't show expertise, nor trust gained from the community.

The only other reason to reward with rep is to encourage users to use it - similar to how we award rep for accepting an answer.

We also have badges for this purpose, and in fact when it comes to encouragement of one-time activities, a badge is more appropriate.

I can see this as a good thing for the community - it increases 24/7 engagement with users, and the notifications mean that experts using the site will be able to more quickly respond to comments and other new posts.

The only difficulty is to determine how to award these. I participate in 50 different stackexchange sites (sites where my reputation is above 200). For installing the app, do I simply get a badge on all of them?

Perhaps when you post an answer or a question via the app the first time on a given site, you're given a badge. The nice thing about posting via the app is that not only have you downloaded it and used it, but you've logged into it and hopefully will now get notifications. It's yet another thing to track in the database - whether a posting was made via the app or through some other method - but perhaps this should be tracked anyway. Then a query run daily could trigger the badge.

Seems like a lot of work, but it would be interesting to know how many people are really using the app right now anyway?

  • 1
    The important question, though, is what should the badge be named. Naming is hard...
    – Pollyanna
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:46
  • Ha! You said what I couldn't, I was really looking to say your first sentence. +1
    – M.A.R.
    Jul 29, 2015 at 19:47
  • Increasing app engagement could be seen as a positive thing, if it, for instance, justifies the resources expended to develop and maintain the app. I don't, however, see a badge enticing most users to switch over to the app. So, we'd not only need to look at how many users actively use the app, but if a badge would cause any non-negligible uptick in active, regular use of the app.
    – user287266
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:58
  • I made a key correction to the OP because its meaning was distorted with a single word. For this reason I cannot accept this answer. Thanks for your time and effort however. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:22
  • For installing the app, do I simply get a badge on all of them? No, you get rewarded once +5 rep on all sites which you post to with the app. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:27
  • The badge idea was tested during the winterbash, with two hats, "Bugdroid" and "Not a cherry". Additionally there was "Got a Tablet for Christmas"... see here: winterbash2014.stackexchange.com Jul 30, 2015 at 10:44
  • @Martin-マーチン Great, then Stack Exchange already has some data on this idea and possible impact.
    – Pollyanna
    Jul 30, 2015 at 12:13

This is a bad idea for several reasons, but one very clear one is that it would make it much easier to commit voting fraud.

What if Stack Exchange gave, say, 50 points of reputation, on one site only, for installing the iOS or Android app.

Say, also, I want to get some upvotes on my obviously awesome but underappreciated answers. All I need do is create a new account (or several), install the app, and sign in with that new, fake account.

It only takes 15 reputation to upvote, and I can now (hypothetically) do that as much as I want.

Yes, there's always the Association Bonus that'll get you 100 reputation on any other Stack Exchange site, but with that, at least, you need to have had some positive contributions on the original site. Installing an app requires absolutely no previous contributions.

Asking good questions, writing good answers, and suggesting edits that makes either of those more readable and helpful contribute to the site and thus the world. They should be rewarded with reputation points.

Installing an app helps exactly nobody.

Now a badge. That seems like a good idea to me.

  • I don't disagree that this is a bad idea but some rep is ignored (specifically the association bonus) in some cases... so the easy solution here is to make the rep not count towards unlocking any privileges.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 29, 2015 at 20:56
  • 1
    @Catija: Then what's the point? Jul 29, 2015 at 21:05
  • What do you mean by 'signing-in with a new, fake account'? Isn't rep awarded per account?? If you sign on you phone with a new, fake account it has nothing to do with your primary account. No rep gains. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:06
  • It makes your number bigger... which is all most people seem to care about. And, generally (I think), the privileges that ignore the rep are limited to low-rep ones, under 200 or so... it wouldn't prevent someone from getting a 2K privilege.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 29, 2015 at 21:06
  • @InterfaceUnknown: Yes, but with that new, fake account with free reputation for installing an app, I can vote on the questions/answers for my "primary" account. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:09
  • I updated the OP. There was a meaning distortion which (I assume) blew the audience. My fault. For the above reason I cannot yet accept the proposed answer as an answer to my question. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:10
  • @FishBelowtheIce what prevent's you from doing it now? You can register a new, dummy account for a new e-mail address anytime. The other thing is to upvote. Upvoting is a privege which is assigned at 15. For installing mobile app you can get +5. Also SE can easily track your real activity & purpose (i.e. what you actually do with your app). Jul 29, 2015 at 21:17
  • @InterfaceUnknown If all you get for installing the app is +5, why bother with it at all? It's such a tiny amount, even for a new user. One upvote on a question or half of an upvote on an answer. Paltry amount.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jul 29, 2015 at 21:25
  • +5 or +100 is discussable. The idea is to stimulate users to use the app which is nice, convenient, pushes notifications and can be used out of your pocket. Jul 29, 2015 at 21:30

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