Apple reportedly planned to expand its advertising offering at the end of this month, adding a second slot within its App Store to allow companies to further promote their apps.

Citing two sources, Financial Times (FT) reported the company would use a second slot to bring eyeballs to specific apps in the suggested apps section of its App Store search page.

Currently, Apple sells search ads for its App Store that allows developers to pay specifically for the top result, added the FT.

Apple currently brings in approximately $2 billion per year from search ads in its App Store, according to data from Bernstein Research,

The move builds on previous efforts by the iPhone maker to increase its presence in the mobile advertising sector, including an attempt to acquire mobile advertising company AdMob in 2009 and the launch of in-house platform iAd in 2010. However, the latter was shut down in 2016.

Adding advertising space comes as Apple implements controversial iOS changes aimed to provide users with ways to prevent data tracking: a move criticised by advertisers and big-name rivals including Facebook and Snap which warned of negative impacts over revenue from targeted advertising tools.

The iOS software update is expected to be rolled out sometime next week.