Report: Apple considering paid search in its App Store

Apple has created "a secret team" tasked with considering changes to its App Store, according to a Bloomberg report. Among other ideas, the group is exploring a paid search model that would enable publishers to have their apps appear at the top of search results based on keywords customers use to search for titles. Roughly 100 employees are reportedly working on the project, including many engineers from the iAd program that has been dramatically scaled back.

The App Store has more than 1.4 million titles at last count, and discovery has long been a problem for developers looking to attract attention to their offerings. So paid search certainly provides a way for Apple to create a substantial new revenue stream. But separating the wheat from the chaff is already difficult for consumers browsing the app store, and Apple may be concerned about giving prominent placement to second-rate apps since that may dissuade some users from searching for new titles to download. Article

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