The company announced the news via its notifications menu in the Search Ads web client where it confirmed that the service would go live on 25 April in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Developers can already start creating ad campaigns ahead of the launch date though.
The paid ads appear under the search banner within the App Store when they are related to a user’s search query, for instance a search for a “to do list” may prompt an ad for a task management app first.
The service is designed to help small and independent developers rack up more downloads and gives them the ability to refine their audience by gender, age, or specified geographical areas. Apple says it operates the service on a cost-per-tap model, meaning developers only pay when a user taps on their ad.
In addition to a general expansion of services, Apple has also introduced a new campaign group manager role to the Search Ads backend which makes it easier for developers and ad agencies to create access privileges for campaign groups by storefront, business unit or app.
The final update to the service is a new ability which can duplicate ad assets like groups, settings and keywords, allowing developers to create and deploy campaigns on new storefronts.
Apple designed the system to be minimally intrusive with promoted apps, limited to one suggestion per App Store search query, clearly demarcated with an "Ad" tag.