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Apple reportedly expanding ad business – and it could be a bad sign for iPhone users

Apple is looking to expand its digital advertising business by showing ads for the App Store within third-party apps, according to reports.

According to Wall Street Journal sources, Apple has been in talks with Pintest and Snap with a view to showing Search Ads beyond the listings page.

So, in one example used by the report, Snapchat users searching for the NFL might see an advertisement for ticket re-selling apps like StubHub.

Related: WWDC 2018

Apple already shows App Store users advertisements at the top of search results within the download portal, but this would take things a step further.

The report says:

Over the past year, Apple has met with Snap Inc., Pinterest Inc. and other companies about participating in an Apple network that would distribute ads across their collective apps, the people said. Apple would share revenue with the apps displaying the ads, with the split varying from app to app, they said.

According to the WSJ report, Apple has already made $1 billion in ad revenue since introducing promoted results to the App Store in 2016.

Apple’s business model has mostly focused on hardware sales with free software, boosted by sales of digital media and cuts of subscriptions. A more aggressive diversification into digital advertising may be concerning for some users.

Contrarily to the likes of Facebook and Google, whose business models are based on knowing enough about their users to serve effective advertisements, Apple says it doesn’t need to know our most intimate details.

By moving into the ad realm, Apple could risk compromising those ideals in a manner that makes customers less comfortable with its practices.

Are you comfortable with Apple expanding its digital advertising business? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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