According to recent reports, Apple has paused advertisements related to gambling ads and a few other categories on its App Store product pages. However, the company has not revealed other details such as the duration of the latest enforced pause, nor the changes that will be introduced. It is also unclear what the other categories affected by this measure are. The announcement follows complaints from developers on the type of advertisements showing up in the App Store.
On Tuesday, the trillion-dollar tech firm announced that companies could advertise their apps on the store pages for other apps, putting their icon in the 'you might also like' section. Almost immediately, developers started showing examples of ads for gambling apps being recommended under their apps.
Following complaints from developers, including a case in which a slot machine app was advertised alongside gambling addiction recovery apps, the company put a pause on its latest implemented measure. However, MacRumors points out Apple hasn't clarified how long the pause would last, or if it’ll be making any policy changes based on how the initial rollout has gone down.
Apple has no additional information to share at this time, so it's unclear how long the pause will last/what changes might be made/etc.— Joe Rossignol (@rsgnl) October 26, 2022
According to the company's guidelines for App Store advertising, there are restrictions on where apps related to gambling, drinking, dating, and the pharmaceutical and medical industries can be advertised. The site states that gambling applications are "prohibited or limited in some nations and regions," but it says nothing about the audience they can be offered to, as reported by The Verge.
With Apple’s recent changes to ads on the App Store, your product pages may now show ads for gambling apps. One of my product pages just did that 😞 pic.twitter.com/CjbrXpajX0— Simon B. Støvring (@simonbs) October 25, 2022
Twitter has seen dozens of users share screenshots of inappropriate ad placements: in addition to gambling being advertised alongside gaming addiction recovery products, there are examples of other betting apps being advertised on pages aimed towards children, adult video chat apps showing up on the Apple Books page, and dating apps being placed under apps designed to improve existing relationships.
Experts believe that the way Apple proceeds on this matter could be vital for the future of the iPhone. Reports have indicated that the company is planning on expanding ads outside the App Store, to apps like Maps, Podcasts, and Books. However, Apple isn't the only app working on this problem. Google, for example, lets users limit the number of ads they see about potentially sensitive topics like alcohol, gambling, dating, pregnancy, and weight loss.
In May, reports revealed that Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, planned to direct more attention to the company's streaming and advertising business, which has only become more profitable with the launch of Apple's App Tracking Transparency policy last year. Since the rule requires developers to let users opt in or out of in-app tracking, developers can’t deploy targeted ads if users opt-out. Insider reported this has forced them to shift some of their budgets to advertising on the App Store instead. According to research firm Omdia, Apple’s advertising business could rake in $5.5 billion this year alone.