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Costly Changes to Google's Policies on Advertising

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A recent article from VentureBeat covers a change in Google Play Developer Policies enacted last week by Google: Particularly intrusive ads have been banned, and apps that use these techniques run the risk of being removed from Google Play if they don't make changes. It's definitely a positive move for users, but according to VentureBeat, the changes may lead to losses of up to $150 million in developer revenue. The specific types of ads banned are:

  • Ads appearing within notifications
  • Ad-focused icons added to a user's Home screen

For some Android developers, the change may be a big hit to revenue. In the long term, though, there may be a benefit to all Android developers in providing a user experience that is generally cleaner and more trustworthy than it has been in the past. Reasonable or not, it's easy to imagine users who shy away from apps that are not familiar or somehow vetted because of negative experiences with intrusive and deceptive advertising techniques in the past. The ban offers a bottom line of expectations--a line that users now know cannot be crossed--that Apple users, for example, have never had to think about.

Check out the full article and see what you think. Will a more positive user experience lead to growth of the Android development market in general, or is this just a restriction for developers?