Apple’s App Store Is Now Plagued by Gambling App Ads

Developers and users are complaining about inappropriate app suggestions showing up in their searches

The App Store icon on an iPhone. The app store is being accused of recommending gambling apps while people are searching for therapy and addiction apps.
The App Store is making some bad, bad recommendations
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

This week, Apple started showing more ads on its App Store and, well, that went about as well as expected. As one Twitter user noted, gambling recommendations started showing up next to therapy ads and dating apps were suggested for people looking for relationship help.

As reported by iMore, Apple recently announced plans to have more advertisements show up in a new “You Might Also Like” section at the bottom of individual apps. Twitter user Basic Apple Guy noted that a lot of the recommendations were in extremely poor taste.

The worst suggestions? It could be Apple recommending LiveFun:Adult Video Chat in the Books app, which is a 12+ reading app. But the sheer number of spammy gambling apps — included in searches for therapy/addiction apps — seems to be the biggest issue.

App developers have already started complaining. As MacRumors notes, advertisers on the App store can choose to have their ads shown in app categories different than their own app’s category. So gambling apps can show up in places where they really have no right to appear, and the sheer number of these ads (an issue also affecting the sports broadcasting world) is also a concern.

And why? Apple apparently wants to triple its revenue from advertising (note: ads are coming for Apple Maps, too).

Hopefully, in its quest for revenue, Apple can tweak settings so suggestions can be appropriately placed.

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