iPhone App Store Today tab will soon include advertising

Apple is going farther into the ad business. Soon, a paid advertisment will be added to the Today tab of the App Store. And a paid link will be added to the product pages for individual applications.

These will join the Search Ads that are already included in the App Store.

Apple acting as an advertising broker is likely to be controversial because the company has taken a strong stance on targeted ads provided by Google, Facebook and others.

More ads going in the App Store

Open the App Store and you’re taken to the Today tab. This was added as part of a big redesign in iOS 11. Until now, it’s been a way for Apple to point users toward applications that are new, popular or have been updated.

Going forward, developers will be able to pay to have their products placed on the Today screen. They’ll appear in a section clearly labeled as advertising.

The spot won’t include ads for Coca-Cola or Toyotas. “They will only contain content from apps’ approved App Store product pages,” Apple said Friday in its announcment.

In addition, developers will be able to place links to their applications on the product pages for other apps. The link will be added to the “You Might Also Like” section of the page, and will be labeled as an ad. Devs won’t be able to pick specific apps on which to place the links, but only categories of applications.

There are already Apple Search Ads in the App Store. Developers can pay for their applications to appear when a user does a search.

Apple and advertising

It’s easy to be confused about Apple’s attitude toward advertising. On one side, it tells developers, “At Apple, we believe that advertising can play a positive role for both businesses and people.”

But it also created App Tracking Transparency, which lets iPhone/iPad users decide whether third-party applications can track them in order to provide targeted advertising. ATT has so far cost Meta billions in advertising revenue, for example.

App Store ads are also targeted advertising. Apple promises that they adhere to “rigorous privacy standards,” but privacy experts have complained because turning on ATT does not block Apple from building profiles on its users and providing targeted ads.

To opt out of targeted ads on iOS or iPadOS, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Apple Advertising then toggle off Personalized Ads. You also can tap View Ad Targeting Information to see how Apple is targeting you with ads.

To do this on Mac, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. Select the Privacy tab and then select Apple Advertising in the sidebar.

Deactivating personal ads doesn’t mean advertisements will disappear from the App Store. “Turning off personalized ads will limit Apple’s ability to deliver relevant ads to you but will not reduce the number of ads you receive,” according to Apple.

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