Apple investigating major App Store search changes, mulling paid results, report says

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2016
A report Thursday claims Apple has a "secret team" working on major user-facing changes to App Store search results, including the possibility of charging developers to promote content.




According to sources familiar with the matter, Apple has a team of about 100 employees working on the initiative, which is focused on modifying and streamlining App Store search result mechanisms to deal with an ever increasing content library, reports Bloomberg.

Apple is supposedly thinking about instituting a new payment scheme that would offer developers the opportunity to buy prominent placement in search results. For example, a developer marketing a navigation app might pay to be listed above, or among, popular titles like Google Maps and Waze when users enter the search term "maps."

It is unclear if Apple also intends to extend the idea to featured apps, though the chances of sponsored content showing up on the company's well curated homepage is unlikely. Being featured on the App Store's homepage has proven extremely effective in generating buzz -- and income -- for developers, but opening the digital storefront to advertisements might hurt customer experience.

The secret search team appears to be staffed in large part by workers from the recently dismantled iAd team. Bloomberg reports former iAd chief Todd Teresi is leading the group, while "many" of his reports come directly from the old advertising team that was winnowed down last June.

Apple in January promised new job openings for employees affected by the iAd App Network closure, suggesting the new App Store team was pulled from iAd's ranks.

A significant money maker for Apple, the App Store is also an important asset in creating platform stickiness. Underscoring the store's importance, CEO Tim Cook in December shuffled executive oversight from iTunes chief Eddy Cue to SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller, who is better positioned to build out the ecosystem as the person in charge of nearly all developer related operations at Apple.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,751member
    Yuck. Next thing you know Apple will be selling placements in Siri and Proactive results. How about just improving the App Store search algorithm augmented by human curation?
  • Reply 2 of 14
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,751member
    sog35 said:
    Nice. Apple needs to do more to leverage their user base.  Apple is literally leaving tens of billions on the table by not taking advantage of advertising opportunities. Better Apple than Google
    It's bullshit and the only ones who benefit are the big players that have a lot of money and they probably already get prime real estate in the App Store and show up in the top 10 lists. And it really takes a team of 100 to come up with let developers pay for placement? That's the best Apple can come up with?
    redraider11
  • Reply 3 of 14
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    I totally agree. This reeks of "mo money mo money mo money" searches at the top. How about the more money you spend the further down the list you go??  Because that's what will happen to people just starting out. The really cool apps from people who have been "just getting by" will loose out to big money. This is a terrible idea!

    how about list it by creativity. Those apps that are truly unique at the top and the 10,000 versions of Angry Birds at the bottom. 

    I personally look for apps listed as editors favorites because I trust what actual Apple employees think is "cool, innovated and different" and so far I have not been proven wrong. But companies with deep pockets who can push their way to the top???  I'll never find those cool ads when there's billions on the App Store. 
    sessamoid
  • Reply 4 of 14
    dacloodacloo Posts: 890member
    Great idea! That'll make the big boys who are in the top ranks even richer, and make discovery for 99.9% of the rest of us even harder.

    Apple screwed the gaming industry with this race to the bottom once they allowed for F2P games to exist, and now user acquisition is totally broken, Apple wants my money for placement on the App Store! The hell with you, Apple! 
  • Reply 5 of 14
    sog35 said:
    Nice. Apple needs to do more to leverage their user base.  Apple is literally leaving tens of billions on the table by not taking advantage of advertising opportunities. Better Apple than Google
    Come on sog35, you're a fairly intelligent fellow. You really don't see an issue with some small-time developer busting their ass day-in, day-out trying to get their app made and when they finally get it on the app store to have it so buried & choked off by the larger developers who "paid to play" to get THEIR app on the top of the charts that the developer can't make any money to further develop their app or make new apps? More revenue is not what is needed on the App Store. A complete and total overhaul of the search engine powering the App Store is. As many have pointed out, when you can go to Google and get better iOS App Store search results than by searching in the App Store itself, you have serious problems.

    I pray this never gets implemented and whomever thought this was even a remotely good idea gets fired for this stupidity.
    rogifan_newbaconstangsessamoiddaren_mitchell
  • Reply 6 of 14
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    dacloo said:
    Great idea! That'll make the big boys who are in the top ranks even richer, and make discovery for 99.9% of the rest of us even harder.

    Apple screwed the gaming industry with this race to the bottom once they allowed for F2P games to exist, and now user acquisition is totally broken, Apple wants my money for placement on the App Store! The hell with you, Apple! 
    uh, dude? this is a rumors site. rumor. 
  • Reply 7 of 14
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    That's a stupid idea. This is exactly how you turn into Microsoft. I would not discount Wall Street from spreading those rumours...
    sog35 said:
    Nice. Apple needs to do more to leverage their user base.  Apple is literally leaving tens of billions on the table by not taking advantage of advertising opportunities. Better Apple than Google
    Really? How exactly is Apple "better than Google" if they behave like Google, smell like Google, look like Google etc? The crux is this: "improving user experience(or not busting it)" and "getting the tens of billions on the table" are often at odds. Yes, Apple can grab the money and turn into Google/Microsoft, like IBM, Dell or Hewlett-Packard did before them. Those companies used to be highly respected for their laser-like focus on their products and users. Then they grabbed the billions on the table.
    curt12
  • Reply 8 of 14
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    razormaid said:
    I totally agree. This reeks of "mo money mo money mo money" searches at the top. How about the more money you spend the further down the list you go??  Because that's what will happen to people just starting out. The really cool apps from people who have been "just getting by" will loose out to big money. This is a terrible idea!

    how about list it by creativity. Those apps that are truly unique at the top and the 10,000 versions of Angry Birds at the bottom. 

    I personally look for apps listed as editors favorites because I trust what actual Apple employees think is "cool, innovated and different" and so far I have not been proven wrong. But companies with deep pockets who can push their way to the top???  I'll never find those cool ads when there's billions on the App Store. 
    I'd guess that people would then turn to one or several sources of information. AppleInsider AppSearches, maybe?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    dacloo said:
    Great idea! That'll make the big boys who are in the top ranks even richer, and make discovery for 99.9% of the rest of us even harder.

    Apple screwed the gaming industry with this race to the bottom once they allowed for F2P games to exist, and now user acquisition is totally broken, Apple wants my money for placement on the App Store! The hell with you, Apple! 
    uh, dude? this is a rumors site. rumor. 
    Someone commenting on and expressing an opinion on a rumour, that has to be a first.  Better stamp out the practice right now in case it catches on.
    singularitycommand_f
  • Reply 10 of 14
    xbitxbit Posts: 224member
    dacloo said:
    Apple screwed the gaming industry with this race to the bottom once they allowed for F2P games to exist, and now user acquisition is totally broken, Apple wants my money for placement on the App Store! The hell with you, Apple! 
    I think that's unfair. Apple allows F2P games to exist but it's users who are voting with their wallets. Apple has gone out of its way to promote great pay-once games and their recommendations are usually great. If anyone is to blame, it's consumers for having bad taste!
  • Reply 11 of 14
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,555member
    cnocbui said:
    uh, dude? this is a rumors site. rumor. 
    Someone commenting on and expressing an opinion on a rumour, that has to be a first.  Better stamp out the practice right now in case it catches on.
    Commenting on a rumour is fine; getting yourself worked up over a rumour is wasting a good nosebleed. 
  • Reply 12 of 14
    sog35 said:
    Nice. Apple needs to do more to leverage their user base.  Apple is literally leaving tens of billions on the table by not taking advantage of advertising opportunities. Better Apple than Google
    It's bullshit and the only ones who benefit are the big players that have a lot of money and they probably already get prime real estate in the App Store and show up in the top 10 lists. And it really takes a team of 100 to come up with let developers pay for placement? That's the best Apple can come up with?
    It's called the free market. Get over it. 
  • Reply 13 of 14
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,751member
    It's bullshit and the only ones who benefit are the big players that have a lot of money and they probably already get prime real estate in the App Store and show up in the top 10 lists. And it really takes a team of 100 to come up with let developers pay for placement? That's the best Apple can come up with?
    It's called the free market. Get over it. 
    Really? The problem with the App Store is Apple doesn't get enough revenue from it? How exactly does this improve the App Store experience and finding high quality apps? All this does is ensure the candy crushes of the world continue to dominate rankings.
    singularity
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