According to a recent report, Apple is planning to expand its advertising business via a new ad slot appearing in the “Suggested” apps section of the App Store’s search page. This will allow developers to promote their apps across the entire platform, rather than just when users search for a specific app.
This move would allow Apple to build upon its existing advertising business by giving developers the opportunity to reach potential users before they actually search for something. The tech giant already allows developers to target users based on keyword searches in the App Store.
Apple to release a new ad slot in App Store soon
As reported by the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, the tech giant plans to roll out a second ad slot within the App Store by the end of the month. This expansion is the sign that Apple plans on improving its own advertising business whilst “it shakes up the broader $350bn digital ads industry led by Facebook and Google.”
Apple’s upcoming software update, iOS 14.5, will make it mandatory for developers to seek users’ permission to track their online activity across third-party apps and websites on iPhone. It is expected that most users will decline the permission to be tracked, which will cause a huge blow to the advertising industry. Many advertisers spoke out against Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature. Most notably, Facebook launched an ad campaign in leading U.S newspapers accusing Apple of harming the small developers by changing tracking to run targetted advertisements and monopolizing free internet.
According to the report, testing is finished on the new ad slot and Apple will launch it next week alongside when the company plans to start enforcing App Tracking Transparency for iOS 14.5 devices.
Although the slot is not a huge addition to Apple’s advertising business, the move does come across as hypocritical since it is on the verge of rolling out software changes that will significantly affect developers and advertising companies. As Apple is currently undergoing multiple antitrust investigations, it will be interesting to see how regulators will respond to the tech giant’s expansion of its advertising business.
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