In 2008 Apple debuted its App Store to help its users discover, purchase and download new apps for their iOS devices.
While the store has seen many tweaks and upgrades over the years it has yet to have a complete overhaul. Now the company has formed a secret team to explore changes to the store including a paid search model that could cause quite the stir amongst app developers and the way iPhone and iPad users discover new apps.
The secret team consists of 100 employees and is being led by Todd Teresi who was formerly in charge of iAd. Apple decided to scale back its advertising service which is why he is working alongside many of his former colleagues on the App Store project.
How users search for and discover new apps has been a major part of the App Store's focus but a move to a paid search model could make it more convenient for iOS users to find quality apps with a simple search.
Developers would have to pay Apple in order for their apps and games to appear higher on the App Store's search results. Google has already implemented this feature on Android's Play Store in its gaming subcategory. If a user searches for a type of game as opposed to an actual title, an advertised game will appear first in the search results.
If Apple does decide to implement this feature it could be an easy way to increase the revenue made from the App Store. It would also give developers an easier albeit more expensive way to expose new audiences to their apps.
Apple has not yet fully decided to add paid search to the App Store but if the company decides to do so we will likely hear more at its Worldwide Developer Conference event in June.