Apple App Store search tab now has a dedicated ad slot

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Apple is inviting developers to "reach customers before they search" using new advertising slots on the App Store.

Developers have been able to advertise via the App Store search results since 2016, but users had to initiate a search to see an ad. Now, customers will see a new section in the App Store search tab before a query has been made.

When a customer clicks on the search tab in the App Store app, they see a list of apps under "Discover" and "Suggested." Apple has been testing a new advertising slot under the Suggested list, which is now available for developers to target with their ad campaigns.

Rather than target a keyword, the ad shows up based on Apple Advertising metrics collected by the company. Users can turn off App Store targeted ads in the Settings app by selecting "Privacy," then scrolling to the bottom and selecting "Apple Advertising."

Turning off personal ads does not remove ads from the App Store, nor does it reduce the number of ads seen.

Apple has made some major changes in the advertising space recently. iOS 14.5 and macOS 11.3 contains App Tracking Transparency which asks users for permission before enabling cross-app tracking. Apple's in-house advertising doesn't rely upon the same system, nor does it track users outside of the App Store.

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