Google has reportedly started testing app recommendations in Play Store’s search screen where it previously only showed users’ search history.
Android expert Mishaal Rahman was one of the first ones to report the new change, and responses to his tweet revealed that Play Store users in many countries including the United States and Japan have already started seeing the new app promotions.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Google shows three app recommendations in total, and there is the ‘’Ad’’ sign under only one of them.
However, in a statement to 9to5Google, the company said that this is an ‘’organic discovery feature’’, not paid advertising, and apps that appear on the search screen are the ones with major updates, notable offers, etc.
“These are not paid ads. Google Play is testing an organic discovery feature to highlight apps and games with major updates, ongoing events, or offers that users may be interested in,’’ a spokesperson for the company said. ‘’We’re testing this feature to help Google Play users find more joyful and useful experiences and to support our developer ecosystem.”
Over the past few years, Google has made several enhancements to the Play Store to offer a better experience for Android users and make it easier for them to discover new apps and games that align with their interests. Last year, the company introduced its new quality thresholds that put more focus on user experience, and said developers who meet its criteria would get the chance to get their apps recommended in more spots across the platform.