Apple is thinking of adding an advertising service to the Apple App Store (and perhaps the Mac App Store) through which developers would pay to have their apps shown at the top of search results, Bloomberg reports.
Similar to search ads on Google or Bing, advertisers would pay receive placement when there’s a search for certain keywords. Apple is also reportedly looking for ways to improve App Store browsing. About 100 employees are said to be working on the effort to overhaul the App Store, including many engineers previously on the iAd mobile ad team, which has been scaled back.
The search ads would act as new competition for Facebook, which gets paid when ads shown within its apps and mobile ad network lead to downloads/installs. Back in mid-2014, JPMorgan estimated app install ads were driving about $400 million in quarterly revenue for Facebook.