Inappropriate Ads On Apple App Store Upset Developers: Highlights Apple's Hypocrisy?

Inappropriate Ads Flooding iPhone's App Store Upsets Developers

The Apple ecosystem was touted to be an oasis where people's privacy and user data were paramount. Apple's current CEO Tim Cook had even called Google and Facebook for their privacy policies. Who knew Apple's iCloud Private Relay and the Do Not Track setting via App Tracking Transparency were carefully devised tools mainly intended to build the Apple Ads platform? Ironically, Apple's dream of stuffing ads into its own iOS ecosystem is being heavily criticized by some of the biggest developers on the platform.


Apple Started Pushing More Ads Into Its iOS App Store

Apple recently indicated it would allow more ads to be served to iPhone users via the iOS App Store. The company has created more "ad space" in locations within the App Store which were once protected from random promotional content.

The main Today tab and the "You Might Also Like" section at the bottom of individual app listings weren't serving ads from third parties. But that changed on October 25. These sections now allow ads from developers and app publishers who wish to promote their creations.

Incidentally, Apple claims it is allowing developers to advertise their apps in more places, including the locations mentioned above. However, this appears to be just another way Apple is charging developers. App creators may easily end up paying more than the 30% Apple Tax they owe the company for every transaction that takes place in the App Store.

Apple has updated its App Store rules stating that iOS developers must use in-app purchases on the sales of "boosts" for posts in a social media app. The company's official statement on the matter reads:


"Digital purchases for content that is experienced or consumed in an app, including buying advertisements to display in the same app (such as sales of "boosts" for posts in a social media app) must use in-app purchase."

This statement suggests Apple is asking developers they must buy artificially elevated social media posts through in-app purchases.

Apple App Store Listings Flooded With Inappropriate Ads?

Mere hours after Apple's controversial policy of allowing app developers to advertise within the listings of other apps went live, the platform started serving inappropriate ads. Several prominent developers openly complained about such ads appearing in the listings of their apps.

It is amply clear from the tweet that app developers are upset with Apple's policies governing ads. Moreover, publishers are also concerned that such content could tarnish their images.

Thousands of Apple iPhone users land on the app listings of genuine and useful apps, and moving forward, they will be greeted with suspicious ads that promote gambling. It is even more concerning to note that Apple doesn't seem to offer developers much control over promotional content from third parties.

Apple offers advertisers the ability to show their ads in app categories different than their own app's category. This means ad space within listings is essentially open to anyone to promote their apps and services. Incidentally, Apple earns from the ad placements, and takes 15% to 30% commission from in-app purchases, even if they are gambling apps.

Apple's Tim Cook once famously chastised Google and Facebook for invading users' privacy just to push ads. Cook zealously promoted Apple's ecosystem and claimed it protected users' privacy and security. However, the deployment of Apple's ad platform, and the recent developments, indicate the company may no longer adhere to policies that its former CEO Steve Jobs strongly upheld.

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