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Apple expands ads on the App Store, developers complain

Updated Oct 27th, 2022 10:51AM EDT
App Store ads

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Apple is now displaying more ads on the App Store. While this move by itself could make some evangelists uneasy about this change, it’s the type of ads being shown that are bothering not only customers but also developers, who are seeing gambling apps being displayed right next to their apps. Here’s what you need to know.

According to Apple’s News and Updates section on the developer’s website, Apple Search Ads “makes it easy to promote your app on the App Store. And now, with the new Today tab and product page ad placements, you can drive discovery of your app more across the App Store – when customers first arrive, search for something specific, and browse apps to download.”

This move comes a couple of months after Bloomberg reported that Apple was testing adding sponsored posts results in the Maps app, in addition to more ads on the App Store to nearly triple its current advertising revenue per year. Now that it has become a reality, Apple is facing backlash from the developer community.

As noted by MacRumors, with the new “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual app listings, several developers are complaining about gambling ads being displayed next to their apps.

While, technically, Apple should limit some ads to a few categories, such as children’s education apps, the company is even showing gambling ads for them, as developer Rob McAlavey noted.

Another developer, Marco Arment, wrote on his Twitter page:

Now my app’s product page shows gambling ads, which I’m really not OK with. Apple shouldn’t be OK with it, either. The App Store has corrupted such a great company so deeply. They make so much from gambling and manipulative IAPs that they don’t even see the problem anymore.

Legal expert Florian Mueller wrote how bad this is for customers and, of course, for developers that are building apps that shouldn’t be related to gambling applications:

Apple just sent all developers an email that ‘Today tab and product page campaigns start October 25.’ It’s another means of increasing the effective app tax rate, forcing developers to buy ads on their own app pages in order to avoid that other sterr customers away from there.

While Apple hasn’t addressed this issue openly, BGR will wait for a statement from the company to update this App Store story once we hear more about it.

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José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.