An update to the Google Play store where ads will appear when you open the search bar is reportedly in testing.
9To5Google (opens in a new tab) discovered that the company was considering replacing recent history with ads. The change was noticed on a device with version 33.0.17-21 of the Play Store.
The current default search behavior for most users is that when activated, the last four searches appear as suggestions in the Android app space.
Ads in the Play Store
For many Android phone users, it’s not their habit to browse the Play Store for new apps – instead, they head straight to the search bar to find a specific app.
It’s possible that Google has noticed this and is testing a new change that could significantly increase ad exposure.
Also, search history may not be particularly useful to many users, so it would make sense from Google’s point of view to replace it with something more financially beneficial for the business.
The rollout could be part of the latest Play Store update – version 33.0.17-21 – which includes a “New features to help you discover the apps and games you love” section.
Google isn’t the only company changing the way ads work in its app store: Apple’s App Store has also recently undergone some updates. Ads now appear in the “Today” tab in the App Store along with suggestions in each app, which can be seen by the “Advertisement” icon on a blue background.