Commentary

Google Play Calls Out Ad-Supported Apps

In the name of transparency and user friendliness, Google just made it harder for app developers to make a buck.

Yes, Google Play will now clearly note if an app “Contains Ads” -- right alongside the note about whether or not apps offer in-app purchases.

It might seem like a minor change, but it will certainly make users less likely to download certain apps, i.e., those with ads.

Of note, Apple’s App Store doesn’t include any such warning. In 2014, the Google rival did start identifying which apps and games included in-app purchases, but that’s as far as it went.

Yet, at the risk of alienating developers, Google appears to be more concerned with quality control within its Google Play ecosystem.

Last year, for example, it began assigning content ratings and “family star” badges to kid-appropriate apps and games, as well as vetting apps through a manual review process. It also announced plans to remove the word “free” from to apps that included in-app purchases. Earlier this year, meanwhile, the search giant began experimenting with app awards to separate the wheat from the chaff.

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This latest change, however, could really hit app developers where it hurts.

In the US alone, advertisers will spend $28.72 billion to reach their targets on mobile devices, this year, eMarketer estimates.

Now, if developers want a piece of that pie, they’ll have to risk alienating audiences.

1 comment about "Google Play Calls Out Ad-Supported Apps ".
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  1. Doc Searls from ProjectVRM, May 2, 2016 at 12:04 p.m.

    As a customer and user of apps, I welcome the labeling. I'd also like to see tracking labeled as well. But Google, which likes to track people itsef, may not like doing that.

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