The App Store will soon start displaying ads

By: Marawan Alwaraki, June 9, 2016
Don't freak out. Ok, maybe freak out a little bit. The App Store is about to get ads in the search results. It sounds worse than it is though.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s Worldwide Marketing SVP, was given the responsibility of overlooking all App Store leadership 6 months ago. He announced a few changes recently, including Search Ads. Search Ads, as the name suggests, will allow developers to advertise their apps at the top of the App Store's search results.




Apple promised a few rules that should try to ensure that ads don't compromise the user experience. Firstly, only a maximum of one ad can be shown for a given search. So users won't have to scroll through a plethora of ads to get to the non-paid results. Secondly, no personal information from any of your apps will be shared with developers. Developers can target apps based on keywords, location of device and user demographics. But data such as what apps you use, what purchases you make or what you do on your phone won't be shared.

Ads will be tested this summer in the beta version of iOS 10, and will finally launch with the official release of iOS 10 in September.

After reading comments and opinions online, it seems that some people are in favour of sponsored search results. They argue that chances are the app in the search result will be the one the user was initially looking for, which indeed may be the case.

Below is an explanation from Daring Fireball as to why App Store ads aren't necessarily a bad thing:
Apple’s system does not use tracking. No profiles are kept of users, and no user-identifying information is sent to advertisers. And users can opt out of things like location-based ads with the system level preferences for location privacy. Downloads are already being driven by paid ads, so they might as well be in the App Store itself, where Apple can take some of the money and deliver ads that live up to its standards for privacy.

It’s also important to note that the ads are the same as the regular App Store listings. What you’ll see is the same exact content, vetted through the same approval process, as the regular app store listing. Developers are not paying to get a discrete “ad” displayed, per se, but paying to get their regular App Store listing displayed as an ad.

Others however, feel like Apple shouldn't be displaying ads in its own apps on phones that are already priced highly enough.



A few other changes are coming to the App Store. One notable change is that apps you already have on your phone won't be shown on the Featured page anymore. This should help users discover more apps, and avoid seeing apps they've already installed.



Search ads appearing in a mobile app store aren't exactly new. The Play Store on Android currently displays an ad at the top of search results every now and then.

Apple pulled a page out of Google's handbook

What do you think of ads in the App Store search? Is it a "sign that Apple is doomed", or are you alright with seeing a supposedly useful ad every now and then?

Source: Apple 

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