Search Ads and other improvements are coming to the Apple App Store

Posted in June 2016 by Silke Glauninger

App Marketing

Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC in San Francisco again brings some exciting innovations. Apple’s renowned developer community comes together to learn about the future of Apple’s products and software. All around this event, not only improvements of iOS and Mac OS X get announced, but also adjustments in Apple’s App Store were already signaled.

Changes for Apple’s App Store announced

Already before WWDC started, Apple’s senior vice president, Phil Schiller, announced in an interview with TheVerge, that Apple will adopt the App Store’s app discovery and will roll out a new revenue-share model. Furthermore, he introduced an implementation of Search Ads in U.S. iOS App Store.

wwdc16 keynotes

App Store Search Improvements

Search is the most common way for users to discover apps in the App Store. 65% of all iOS app downloads are results of organic App Store search. This makes the App Store the most powerful place for app discovery.

Since the App Store has been steady growing over the last years and has now reached about 2 million apps, both developers and users long for some search improvements.

In the interview, Schiller mentioned that this wish may get true. In this falls update, Categories tab will come back to the App Store along with a new user-feature for the handling of app recommendations. In concrete: Users will be able to directly share app recommendations with friends by hard-pressing on an app.

Furthermore they concept a new subscription model that could bring some major shift in App Store economics. This means Apple plans to motivate app owners for recurrently offering their app for free instead of demanding a one-time cost. This strategy should help stopping the slowdown of iOS app sales growth, that Apple is facing for recent years.

App Store Search Ads

Moreover, Apple announced the integration of Search Ads for fall 2016. With Search Ads, developers should get the opportunity to promote apps directly in the store as they believe it is the most customer-friendly option. The ads will get displayed on the top search results at the very moment users are searching for it. Search Ads thereby will be marked with a light blue button to let users identify it as ad.

Search Ads Apple App Store Creation
Stating, that Search Ads will not transform App Store into a mess of paid ads, he furthermore declared, that customers are already used to such kind of advertisement like it is done with AdWords or on Facebook. When creating a Search Ad campaign, developers will get the ability to select user segments based on contextual, app store, developer and app transaction data. Schiller also mentioned, that Ads appearing in search results will have to match the search query the user supplied but no user data will get shared with any third-party or developers.

So in conclusion, this kind of app advertising should help users to easier discover apps and gives developers the chance to push their app ranking. This will especially appeal to apps in high-competitive categories like games or social networking. Unfortunately, for the time being, this feature will be only available within the U.S. App Store search.

Search Ads are not-so-new improvements for Google

While these improvements are something exciting new in the “Apple universe”, Android developers already make use of Search Ads on Google Play. As announced back in 2015, Google implemented the new ways to promote apps on Google Play Store last year. Similar like Apple plans it, Search Ads are displayed within search results but campaigns can be created within Google AdWords.

Search Ads universal app campaigns Goolge Play Store

Read more about how to advertise your mobile app with Google AdWords in our next blog post.

Silke Glauninger
Silke is Marketing Manager at App Radar. When not writing about app marketing, you can find her looking for new places to explore or watching series with a cup of tea and chocolate.

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