Apple today announced it is expanding its offering of how developers can promote their apps on the App Store, helping developers expand their reach and making it easier to discover more of what the App Store has to offer.
Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page. Both ad placements have been a tremendous success for developers, helping them find users who may be interested in their apps, according to Apple. The expansion of ad opportunities in the App Store is part of the company’s efforts to maintain the App Store as the best place for developers to grow their businesses.
Apple Search Ads provides opportunities for developers of all sizes to grow their business. Like our other advertising offerings, these new ad placements are built upon the same foundation—they will only contain content from apps’ approved App Store product pages, and will adhere to the same rigorous privacy standards.
As part of those efforts, the first new ad opportunity will be within the Today tab – the front page of the App Store. With Today App Store ads, developers will be able to promote their apps right alongside the daily editorial content by the App Store team. Ads are clearly marked as ads and are distinguishable from the normal editorial App Store stories. The Today tab is the first tab that’s pre-loaded when the App Store app is opened and was introduced as part of the App Store redesign in 2017.
The second new ad placement for developers in the App Store will be directly within app product pages. Ads will appear under the “You Might Also Like” section towards the bottom of the page and will also be clearly marked as ads.
At the cornerstone of Apple’s App Store ads is the company’s focus on user privacy. The new ads will follow the same strict guidelines and policies applied across all of Apple’s platforms and services. When users first open Apple’s apps, such as the App Store, Apple News, and Apple Stocks, they’re given the freedom to choose whether they want to enable personalized ads.
In a presentation to advertisers obtained by MacRumors in May, it was revealed that in the first quarter of 2022, 78% of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 search volume on the App Store was from devices with Personalized Ads turned off across all countries and regions where Apple’s Search Ads are available.
Whether or not users have Personalized Ads enabled, Apple does not show personalized ads to users under the age of 18, to users with an Apple ID associated with a minor under 13, or to managed accounts. Furthermore, unlike some social media giants who allow advertisers to target extremely specific user demographics, Apple limits developers from targeting ads to segments and demographics with less than 5,000 other similar users, helping prevent hyper-targeting.
Apple also never uses factors such as religion, political affiliation, or health to target its customers, claiming it’s able to deliver highly effective ads without the need to track individual users. Additionally, Apple’s ads are never tied to an individual Apple ID, and a “user profile” is never created to target a specific user across all of the company’s services.
Ron Schneidermann, CEO of AllTrails, a popular app for hikers and campers, said that Apple’s App Store ads have helped “attract new, more engaged customers across markets” and that they’ve become a crucial aspect of its growth strategy.
Apple Search Ads helped us attract new, more engaged customers across markets. We rely on Apple Search Ads for cost-effective customer acquisition – it’s a critical component of our growth strategy. As they become available, we plan to invest in new placements to reach even more customers on the App Store and continue to drive our business growth.
Apple will be testing the new ad placements with limited developers soon.