Apple is now showing App Store users more ads, even when they’re not actively searching for apps to download.
Since 2016, Apple has enabled app developers to effectively curate search results to put their apps at the top of lists, albeit with posts clearly labeled as ads.
So, for example, if you search for “football” on an American iPhone, you’ll see Madden NFL 23 at the top, even though it’s basically the best score and is just below the ad. In many cases, a developed advertisement may help attract more downloads simply because it is the first application that users see.
The company also displays ads in the search tab, even before App Store users search for specific content. Now I can see one for TikTok, for example.
Going forward, Apple says ads will start appearing under the Today tab, which was the company’s opening page featuring noteworthy new apps, games and thematic groups that might be useful to iPhone and iPad owners.
Ads will also appear on more specific product pages, which means there will be a flow of ads throughout the store, even if they are easy to distinguish from organic listings. Or, as Apple says in its offer to developers, users will see ads “when they start,” “when searching,” and “while browsing.”
“Apple Search Ads makes it easy to promote your app on the App Store,” says Apple (via 9to5Mac) on its development site. “And now with the new Today tab and product page placements, you can discover your app in more moments across the App Store — when customers first arrive, search for something specific, and browse apps to download.”
The update comes after Apple increased subscription prices for Apple Music, Apple TV +, and Apple One bundles earlier this week. It looks like revenue from services could get another big boost the next time the company reports earnings.