It looks like Apple wants to do what Google is doing, as they are reportedly building a paid-search-style ad product for there App Store. In a report by Bloomberg, Apple “has constructed a secret team to explore changes to t he App Store, including a new strategy for charging developers to have their apps more prominently displayed.”
According to Bloomberg, there’s about 100 employees working on the project. Out of these employees, some of them are from Apple’s iAd unit, which had been scaled down substantially scaled down over the last year or so.
App discovery can be quite a challenging feat for a marketer, and if Apple does a good job setting up this paid-search-style project for their users, this could be a very popular and lucrative platform for Apple. Back in 2008 when the Apple App Store first went live, there was 552 apps available. Now, there’s over 1.5 million. With such a huge difference between now and then, there is a huge visibility/discovery problem for publishers and developers who want to get their apps seen by users.
If the story is accurate, what is driving Apple? Is it a desire to improve the overall App Store experience? Or is it simply to make a few extra dollars?