Tuesday, August 2, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Yet More App Store Search Ads

Sami Fathi:

Until now, Apple has offered developers two ad opportunities on the App Store: in the Search tab and within the Search results page.

Chance Miller:

First and foremost, there is a new advertising slot coming to the “Today” homepage of the App Store.

[…]

The second new advertising placement is coming directly to product pages themselves. This means that developers will now be able to place ads on the product pages for other apps. This spot is located at the very bottom of the product page, beneath the banner section that shows other apps by that developer.

Nick Heer:

This coverage sounds a little too fluffy to me — too much like it came directly from Apple. It is hard to know for sure because, while this news was reported by several Apple-focused publications including 9to5Mac and Apple Insider, not one of them acknowledged its sourcing. As of writing, this news has not landed on Apple’s Newsroom, or in the news feeds of its Developer or Search Ads sections, nor does it appear on the App Store advertising info page. All three Apple-focused publications also cite in their coverage a corporate presentation to advertisers each says it “obtained” in May claiming 78% of App Store search volume came from devices with ad personalization disabled. Curious.

Paul Haddad:

Coming next year “Download Ads” instead of downloading the app you want, the App Store will randomly download the highest bidding app.

Tim Sweeney:

You worked hard to build a great app. You registered a trademark. You signed up to Apple demands for 30% of your revenue as the sole way to reach iOS users. How does Apple reward you?

They front-run searches for your trademarked app name, and place ad results above the result for your app.

But now, there’s more: Apple will litter your own app page with ads for competing apps. And keep all the ad money for themselves.

Sebastiaan de With:

Apple shouldn’t get into the ad business. Pushing ads in their platform opposes to their goals and core values, and will only erode user trust.

Are the relatively minor profits worth the price of bad experiences and lost goodwill?

Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis, not the talking points that you broadcast or what you did 20 years ago under different leadership.

Florian Mueller:

Yesterday it became public in Colombia that Apple is--I kid you not--claiming a human rights violation and invoking Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because of Ericsson’s preliminary injunction in Colombia over a 5G patent. Nowhere on the 48 pages of the motion did I find a human rights violation in the sense in which most reasonable people would understand it. All I found was a bunch of run-of-the-mill appellate arguments. […]

Interestingly, Apple has just been warned against being sanctioned by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas over a “misuse” of court rules. They brought an emergency motion instead of a regular motion.

Previously:

Update (2022-08-04): Nick Heer:

iAd felt like a typical ad network that, at first, only had high-end buyers; App Store ads feel more like key money.

9 Comments

"Your core values are what you do on an ongoing basis, not the talking points that you broadcast or what you did 20 years ago under different leadership."

Hear hear. As Captain Pellew from Hornblower says, "I judge a man by what I see him do, not what others tell me he has done." This applies perhaps even more so to corporations. Apple has made it quite clear what their core values are in recent years. And if there was ever time they truly cared about user experience and not sacrificing that experiences and goodwill for more profits, that time ended long ago.

Steve Jobs was the one who introduced iAd. The previous management was not qualitatively different, just less desperate for continued revenue growth.

@Fazal Perhaps, but iAd was completely optional, and I think qualitatively different from the ads in the store and within Apple’s apps, notifications, and system settings.

It’s obviously impossible to know for certain at this point, but iAd always felt like it’s was more a reaction from Steve saying “these ads are shit, we can make something that looks nice and gets us some extra money” vs today feeling like just another place to squeeze developers.

but don’t worry, we’ll all get to hear again about how much money apple has “given” developers over the years.

I'm always amused at the blanket assumption that all ads are bad. Ads, in and of themselves, don't have to suck - they can serve an important role in discovery. Many if not most of the things I use I discovered via ads and I doubt I'm particularly unique in that regard.

I think what we could all agree on being obnoxious are *bad* ads. Ads that keyword spam, represent low quality products riding on the coattails of legitimately good products, etc. I'm glad someone brought up Steve and iAds. Go back and look at what he said about iAds and how it would be different from everyone else. Now look at what Apple is allowing to happen with ads today. Notice any differences?

If we actually had Steve's vision for iAds I doubt there would be any where near as much complaining - they would actually be useful; definitely not obnoxious.

Ads aren't going away, so complaining about them is a loosing proposition. Instead I think we should continue to hold Apple's feet to the fire to be *better*. For me the core problem with the App store is Apple positioned a curated, safe and clean experience as the reward for 100% gatekeeping for what could and couldn't be installed on iOS devices. Yeah, they aren't providing that. The app store is full of clone, scammy apps that squat on legitimate apps and they are slow to act - when they do act.

Bri wrote: "And if there was ever time they truly cared about user experience and not sacrificing that experiences and goodwill for more profits, that time ended long ago."

Yes. Another example:

I have several items in my Apple Wallet, and I use one particular item 90%+ of the time I open the app. Apple Wallet used to leave the last item I opened as the top option, but now I'm usually greeted by an ad for Apple Cash instead.

I must have dismissed that ad a hundred times by now, but Apple prefers to annoy me with irrelevancies in the hopes of wringing a little more cash out of me, rather than actually making me a happier customer.

@josehill For me, Wallet has always shown the default item, which I can change via drag and drop.

>Ads, in and of themselves, don't have to suck - they can serve an important role in discovery.

In theory, sure.

For the App Store, Apple seems to have a multi-pronged strategy: 1) leave search mediocre, 2) offer some level of curated stories, 3) let developers advertise. 1 is a bummer, and 3 even more so.

Apple likes to pretend the App Store is a premium shopping experience. Instead, even my local supermarket is far less manipulative. Sure, I bet it stocks the items it wants me to buy at eye level, and it does run some audio ads, but by and large, it leaves me alone.

> Many if not most of the things I use I discovered via ads and I doubt I'm particularly unique in that regard.

I'm guessing I've discovered a few things I use via ads. I can't really think of a single one, though.

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