Google Play Store to ban copycat apps and in-app ads

May 21, 2024

Sometimes when you install apps and games from the Google Play store, you might encounter a few annoying issues. Either the apps keep popping ads or are copycats of the other popular apps. It is very frustrating when you come across such scenarios. The good news is that Google Play Store is updating its policy to ban copycat apps and in-app ads.

With this new Play Store policy, the tech giant company is ready to make some positive consumer changes in its app. Basically, the new rule will directly target the misinformation, impersonation, and annoying advertisements in the Play Store. However, Google said that updating these Play store policies will take some time. That means developers have ample time to make changes to their applications.

Google Play Store to ban copycat apps and in-app ads

New Play Store policy to ban copycat apps and unskippable ads

Starting 31st August, Google Play Store is ready to ban copycat apps that mislead users by impersonating some famous developers, companies, or entities. Such copycat developers use titles, designs, and logos of popular applications that mislead users into installing them on their smartphones. Moreover, these developers also add annoying popup ads that cause more frustration.

Additionally, some of the medical copycat applications give false health information that can cause harm or directly contradict existing medical consensus. Play Store is not only targeting or banning such apps but also adding a new section that restricts them from giving misleading medical information about vaccines, conversion therapy, or unauthorized treatments.

Furthermore, this new policy update will also make changes to the monitoring apps. From now on, developers that track users need to use a specific flag to explain Google the main reason for monitoring. Moreover, developers should also mention the tracking or monitoring feature in the description. Such apps will be immediately banned if they do not follow the guidelines.

Did you know? Google to stop the YouTube Go app from August

On the other hand, Google Play Store will start giving better ad experiences from 30th September. This will give a high-quality gaming experience and stop annoying users during crucial gameplay. The new policy update will ban full-screen ads that users cannot turn off after 15 seconds. However, the opt-in ads that unlock coins or rewards in a game are allowed to cross the 15 seconds time limit.

The tech giant will also ban unexpected interstitial ads that appear before the app’s loading screen or when you start a level in a game. According to the company, Coalition for Better Ads is the main inspiration behind this new strategy. Users encounter more than 15 seconds of full-screen in-app popup advertisements, mostly in games compared to general apps.

Besides the ban of copycat apps and advertisements, Google is also making changes to apps that use Android’s built-in virtual private network, aka VPN tools. From now on, developers need to get explicit permission from users to collect user data. Moreover, the company will also ban apps that implement their own VPNs to help users bypass or change ads.

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