Apple's App Store users will start seeing paid-for app suggestions in their search results.
(CCM) — Apple has begun a radical campaign in the U.S. to rejuvenate its aging App Store that involves showing advertisements for relevant apps when users carry out a search. The company is also in the process of purging broken or outdated apps from the store to help users find high quality apps. Apple's Search Ads feature works in a similar way to Google's Adwords: developers choose how much they want to spend and how much they are prepared to pay for a tap on their advertisement, while the advertisements are created automatically from imagery and keywords in apps' existing App Store listings. Developers can also configure their advertisements so that they are only shown to existing customers and can further refine their audience by gender, age, or geographic area.
The move is designed to enable developers to ensure that their apps stand out among the millions of other apps in the App Store. But the risk of this approach is that, rather than searching for high quality apps based on positive reviews from other Apple device owners, users may simply end up favoring apps from developers who have the resources to buy advertisements, regardless of the quality of their apps. If that happens, then it could have a serious negative impact on the App Store and could even result in disillusioned Apple customers defecting to the Android ecosystem.
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