Apple reportedly is expanding its advertising network through search by partnering with Pinterest and Snap.
People searching in Pinterest’s app for “couches,” for example, might see ads targeted by Apple for an interior-design app. Or those searching in Snap for movie tickets might see an ad for an app selling tickets, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a source.
The shift would expand on Apple’s fledgling promotional ads business in which the company sells search terms in its App Store to serve ads to attract visitors to apps.
Despite Apple’s strategy to use devices to expand the sale of digital content, with Kleiner Perkins Venture Capitalist Mary Meeker's prediction of smartphone sales stagnating and iPhone growth slowing, it's not surprising that Apple would likely look a little closer at advertising that sells services through its app store.
In another interesting development that is a move toward this strategy, the WSJ reports that Apple recently rehired one of its developers of the now defunct iAds network. Winston Crawford, the former head of Apple’s mobile ad marketplace, joined Drawbridge as its first chief operating officer in 2015.
Apparently, for the past four months, Crawford has been back at Apple as Business Development, Ad Platforms, running the global business development for Apple’s Ad Platform Business.
On Thursday, Apple also announced that Search Ads Advanced -- a tool that is intended to drive app downloads that it originally just called Search Ads -- now offers additional ad variations. Advertisers can now create more ad variations using all of the screenshots and app previews from the company’s App Store product page.
Apple said the new Creative Sets will run in addition to the current image and text ads that Search Ads automatically creates for apps. Advertisers now can have up to 10 Creative Sets per ad group.