Google Play Policy Changes and Notification Ads

Most probably you have already heard about last Google Play Developer Program policy changes. There is a lot of rumor on the Internet. Most blogs and News site says about the end of Notification Ads as new policy says:

Ads must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings.

It was my first thought as well. The end is coming. But some people on the Android forums and some mails I have exchanged made me wonder about intention of Google. Did they written that notification Ads are forbidden or…? Lets look on the content policy a little closer.

What They really said is “Ads must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings“. There is not a word about using status notifications for ADs! Status notification is not equal to system notification! System notification are rather something like “You have new messages”, “Updates available” etc! And warnings are like “Low battery” messages!  What they exactly say is that:

It must be clear to the user which app each ad is associated with or implemented in.

And what is important for other kind of ADs as shortcuts:

…it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily…

I looks that Google allow making changes on the devices! It just must be easy to reverse! It makes place for even more aggressive ADs! We can go even further… They may be preparing their own notification ADs and want to make market more “clean”?! Google makes most money on ADs so they may want to eat a part of this big cake!

I use LeadBolt and have their ADs popping on my devices and I can say that in my opinion it comply with most of the new rules. Moreover I just got email and message on their website about new 100% compliant SDK being prepared. I have never seen misleading ADs from their SDK. All they need to do with their ADs is:

  • display application name that generates the AD
  • enforce to display opt-out link (till now it was an option that I have enabled)
And that’s all!

But you must know there is not guarantee for the future definition that will be used by Google (we will be sure on the 1st of September when new policy will be enforced). It is just my personal opinion. I sent an email to google and look for the clarification of their policy. There is still some time to make changes to apps but when it comes to big money I want to be 100% sure about other part intention. I do not take tabloid blogs news interpretations of the policy. I suggest you to read the Google Play Developer Content Policy (it is really short!) and make your own opinion. All your comments, opinions and interpretations are welcome and strongly desired!



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