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Earlier last month, Apple hinted towards new, coveted placements in the Apple app store in an email invitation to developers.

The rumors are true –  Apple officially announced two new advertising placements: the Today tab and the product page ad placements.

Expanding Your Reach With Today Tab Ads

Starting immediately, advertisers can showcase their app on the front page of the Apple app store – a placement that the App Store’s editorial staff had previously handpicked.

Why is this important?

Until now, Apple Ads inventory focused on Search campaigns, where demand could only be captured by search volume and keyword match types.

The Today tab can be one of the first places users land when they visit the app store. Being front and center to a potential new user is crucial when building brand awareness.

The Today tab ad placements allow marketers to diversify advertising budgets further to build awareness.

So, what will this new ad placement look like?

In the Today tab, ad placements will look like this when a user scrolls through their “Today” feed:

Image credit: Searchads.apple.com, October 2022

Marketers must first set up a custom product page in App Store Connect to take advantage of Today tab ads.

There are additional requirements for a custom product page to serve ads on the Today tab:

  • Include at least four (4) portrait assets, OR
  • Include at least five (5) landscape assets

Once your custom product page is approved in App Store Connect, it will go through a secondary approval in Apple Search Ads to use for advertising purposes.

Pay To Play With Product Page Ad Placements

This new advertising placement is where things start to get interesting.

Advertisers can showcase their apps on individual product pages within the Apple app store.

While users are browsing a specific app’s product page, a new ad placement appears at the bottom in a section called “You Might Also Like.”

An example of this ad placement is below:

Image credit: Searchads.apple.com, October 2022

Currently, this ad placement is available to all countries except China.

Product page ads setup will operate similarly to existing ad types like Search or Search Tab campaigns – ads will be curated based on the assets currently in your app’s product page, including the app name, icon, and subtitle.

Product page ads can run across all categories, or you can refine them to include specific categories of your choosing.

So, what makes this ad placement so controversial?

Some users, including a tweet from Florian Mueller, have been quick to criticize this power move from Apple, stating that it’s another way that advertisers have to pay for their brand terms to show an ad on their product page to protect it from competitors.

Apple wants to triple its ad revenue in the near future, and one sure way to get there could be for brands to bid on their own terms, making the landscape even more competitive.

Additional scrutiny of Apple ad expansion comes from Meta. The parent company of Buy Facebook Verification has publicly scrutinized Apple’s strategy of introducing enhanced privacy features that prevent third parties from accurately tracking ad performance, all while expanding its own advertising business.

Summary

Apple’s expansion of ad placements has now doubled its ad inventory options. While this move helps marketers diversify their marketing strategy, it doesn’t come without a price.

It begs the question if Apple’s privacy enhancements are purely focused on user privacy or fueling its advertising network for record profits.

Tell us – will you be trying out the new Apple ad placements? Why or why not?

Featured Image: Primakov/Buy Twitter Verification SMM Panel