Apple Says App Store Ad Changes Won’t Hurt Small Developers

June 30, 2016 - 2 minutes read
New policy for Apple App Store ad placement has small developers demanding fair and level platform.

New policy for Apple App Store ad placement has small developers demanding fair and level platform.

iPhone app developers have been voicing concerns about Apple’s new App Store app-install advertising proposal, after an email to developers announcing the beta program went out to the development community.

According to Apple, Search Ads will be similar to Google Adwords in that users will place bids on relevant keywords in order to appear at the top of results and drive installs. However, company statements promise that the program will differentiate itself from the often-messy system in Google Play by making sure that placed ads are at least as useful as the organic results. (Unlike Google Play, where ads are often unrelated or based on broad categories.) While this could be frustrating for developers paying a premium for keywords down the road, it’s hoped to build user confidence in the results and provide better results for ads when they do appear.

Said Apple’s beta announcement email:

Search Ads, coming to the U.S. App Store for iPhone and iPad with iOS 10, is an efficient and easy way for you to promote your app directly within App Store search results, helping customers discover or reengage with your app while respecting their privacy.

iPhone app developers in Chicago and nationwide are understandably concerned that the move could put small-time developers with limited ad budgets at a disadvantage to major competition with deeper pockets. However, a report from VentureBeat highlights some systems in place that will mitigate that effect and keep the Apple App Store SERPs fair and balanced. After all, a diverse and competitive store is in Apple’s best interest, so it’s only natural that they’d consider small developers as they roll out changes.

Two of the bigger factors defending small developers are the removal of already-installed apps from results, as well as performance-based demotion for ads that don’t draw user interaction.

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