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Apple may introduce paid searches in App Store

Apple App Store

Apple’s App Store could see some major changes in the future if a new report is to be believed. The tech giant has apparently set up a secret team of 100 people to brainstorm new ideas for the way people search the platform, including one which Google has already implemented.

Specifically, we’re talking about paid searches where developers and firms pay Apple to make sure its apps are among the topmost results. For instance, a game company could pay top dollar in order to make sure its application shows up when a user inputs keywords like blackjack or football game.

Google has been using such a system for quite a while now and has turned it into a multibillion-dollar business. If implemented, Apple would open up a significant source of revenue for itself since a number of brands would likely be open to paying more in order to get an edge over competitors.

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The news probably won’t be greeted as enthusiastically by consumers and indie outfits though. Paid searches will distort results, giving an unfair advantage to huge companies which can afford to devote their marketing budget to such an initiative. Meanwhile, users will be forced to contend with sponsored apps showing up first rather than applications which are more relevant to them.

The Bloomberg report also asserts that Apple is looking to improve that last bit with its new team. The group includes a number of engineers from Apple’s advertising faction iAd and is being lead by the company’s Vice President. It’s hoping to develop its current search model to improve the way users browse the 1.5 millions apps in its store.

However, it should be noted that the team hasn’t been together for very long, so it’s unclear when any new changes to the Apple App Store will come about.