Photo: Vlad Kagoshima (Shutterstock)
On Tuesday, Apple followed through on its promise to start filling the App Store up with more advertising. Almost immediately, people took to the internet to complain about the bizarre and sometimes seedy ads they were seeing. Apple made an abrupt policy change days later, “pausing” (but not banning) ads for gambling. We’re not just taking ads for gambling—it’s marketing for skeezy dating apps, red-pilled right-wing videos, and more.
Apple’s push into the world of ads is part of developing strategy that seems directly aimed at crippling other companies’ ad businesses, particularly Meta (formerly known as Facebook). Last year, Apple introduced App Tracking Transparency, a privacy setting that decimated Meta’s ability to effectively advertise on iPhones. Meta said the change cost it an estimated $10 billion in lost revenue. Apple, meanwhile, has been hard at work on its own tools that could replace Meta’s in-app advertising network. Just this week, Apple updated its guidelines to lay out a demand for a 30% cut of the money users pay to “boost” or promote posts on certain apps—another change that will have an outsized effect on Meta.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Even some Apple diehards are unhappy with the ways the company is opening up its platform to rake in advertising dollars. If the ads people have already seen in the App Store are any indication, the coming advertising wave may contradict the squeaky-clean corporate image the iPhone-maker h worked so hard to build.
Here are the worst ads people have seen in the App Store so far.