Apple messes up with gambling ads: takes a step back after developer backlash (for now)

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Ads are a pesky little devil, and while it can be argued that they are a necessary evil, figuring out the line that separates their usefulness and annoyance can often be hard to determine. That being said, there are instances where that line is clearly visible and should not be crossed — something Apple experienced recently with the ads inside the App Store.Just a couple of days ago, Apple started introducing even more ads in its App Store by allowing them in the “Today” tab, as well as the “You Might Also Like” section, which is what you see when you scroll down on an app listing. It is the latter, however, which many developers come out to share their disgust.

Now, everything might have been all fine and dandy if these ads were somehow relevant to the apps under which they appear, but alas, that was not the case. Many well-established names like Marco Arment (developer of a popular podcast app called Overcast) came out to share that they have started seeing distasteful gambling applications being advertised on their own app’s product pages.

After the significant backlash from the developer community, Apple came out with a statement to MacRumors saying that it has “paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages.” Yes, you read that right — “paused.” Unfortunately, that is all Apple had to say, leaving an open door to continue with this advertising approach in its App Store.

Legal expert Florian Mueller from the FOSS Patents blog states that this can be seen as yet another means for Apple to increase “the effective app tax rate, forcing developers to buy ads on their app pages to avoid that others steer customers away from there.”

Whether the tech giant is waiting for the fire to die out, or brainstorming on finding a way to continue with the ads in a way that would make fewer people mad, is anyone’s guess at the moment. We will make sure to update you on the matter if any new information comes to light in the future.

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