Early next year, all apps and games available on Google’s Play Store that are supported by advertising will need to say so up front.
This is according to an email sent to developers by Google, which says that not listing the presence of ads in games and apps is a contravention of the Google Play Developer Program Policies.
Developers have until the 11th of January 2016 to sign into their developer consoles and label their apps and games thusly.
Right now, the Play Store only says whether an app or game features in-app purchases, and only for ones that qualify under Google’s “Designed for Families” programme; under this new initiative, that labelling will roll out to all apps and games in the Play Store.
This is pretty good news for ad-weary Android users, really, as it will be clear before anything is downloaded what they’re in for, allowing people to avoid those apps entirely if that’s what they want.
Here’s the full text of the email:
Hello Google Play Developer,
At Google I/O, we launched “ad-supported” labels for apps in the Designed for Families program. Today, we’re announcing the expansion of this program to all apps on Google Play. Early next year, users will start to see the “Ads” label on apps that contain advertising, both inside and outside Designed for Families.
By January 11, 2016, you must sign in to the Play Developer Console and declare whether your apps contain ads (such as ads delivered through third party ad networks, display ads, native ads, and/or banner ads). After this date, the ads declaration will be required to make any updates to your apps. Please note that misrepresenting ad presence violates Google Play Developer Program Policies and may lead to suspension. You can visit our help center to learn more.
While developers are responsible for accurately declaring ad presence in their apps, Google may verify this at any time and display the “Ads” label if appropriate.
If you feel your app has been incorrectly flagged for containing ads, please contact our policy support team.
The Google Play Team
[Source – Gamasutra]