Search ads show up on Apple's App Store

They'll likely appear on searches for popular keywords.
Matt Brian
M. Brian|10.06.16

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Matt Brian
October 6th, 2016
Search ads show up on Apple's App Store

While we've known for months that Apple would start placing adverts in App Store search results, only a small percentage of iPhone and iPad users have seen them so far. From today, however, all device owners running iOS 10 in the US will see targeted apps whenever they search for popular terms like "taxi," "to do" and even "Pokémon" on Apple's app marketplace.

Should you search for a common keyword that Apple has allowed advertisers to target, the App Store will show the familiar app card -- detailing its name, developer rating and price -- but sponsored listings will show a light blue background and a small badge labelled "Ad."

When Apple SVP Phil Schiller first confirmed that developers could influence the visibility of their apps, the company wanted to be "fair to developers and fair for indie developers," allowing smaller studios with limited budgets to make their creations more visible to the hundreds of millions of iOS device owners.

Apple continues to reinforce the claim that its Featured sections are "not for sale," so this could be seen as a fair compromise. The company follows Google, after the search giant introduced a similar feature in May 2015. Apple's marketing teams will need to continuously monitor the placement of ads so that users aren't shown spoofed apps or are tricked into downloading a third-party app purporting to be the real deal.

This article has been updated to remove a note about a spoof Pokémon app. The app appeared in the iOS 10 betas but has been removed from sponsored listings in the public releases.

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