Apple appears to be testing a new tag feature on the App Store to narrow down search results in popular app categories, making it easier for users to find specific types of apps.
Recently, some users have noticed that searching for popular search terms like "photos" or "adventure games" brings up additional tags. Tapping on these tags curates and focuses the search results. In some cases, a second tag can be added to narrow down the results even further.
It isn't clear when the tag feature first debuted, but MacRumors notes that it's seemingly a recent addition. There are also reports scattered across social media corroborating the feature's appearance.
Major App Store Update from Apple: Introducing search "tags" for filtering results:— Nick (@nickjsheriff) March 21, 2021
A search tag is a search term used by people when searching in the App Store to filter the search results, so the more specific a user is the less tags there are for them to use for filtering. pic.twitter.com/jc4JbtHixd
As of writing, the tags are only appearing for users in the U.S. Most users who have access to the feature are running an iOS 14.5 beta, but at least one noticed its appearance in iOS 14.4.2. In AppleInsider's own testing, the feature only appeared on devices running an iOS 14.5 beta. Even then, it didn't appear every time.
According to Apple's website, at least 70% of App Store users use the search capabilities to find apps and 65% of downloads occur directly after a search. The new tag feature should make it easier for users to find specific types of apps. On the developer side, it should make it easier for apps to get discovered.