Google has announced new Play Store policies and guidelines targeted at making app listings more accurate and straight to the point. The guidelines affecting the screenshots and videos meant to demonstrate an app’s features and functionality will come is to come into effect in the second half of 2021.
However, it will announce specific details about the enforcement of new policies for app titles, icons, and descriptions “later this year”. Google is instituting new app metadata policies to ban a variety of tricks that app developers; deceptively use to make their app listings excessively eye-catching.
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For one, Google will ban writing words in all-caps unless it’s the name of a brand. Also, it won’t be allowing developers to include emojis in app names. App titles are now restricted to 30 characters. They also can no longer “incentivize installs” by including a phrase like “download now”. Google is also banning promotional tactics like including a “Sale” banner in an app icon.
The tech giant calls the blog post a “pre-announcement” with the aim of helping developers plan for the upcoming changes. Google says that when the policies governing app title, icon, and developer name come into effect; apps that violate the policies “will not be allowed on Google Play”. The company says that it will provide more details on the changes that will arrive later in the year.
Google also says that the new Play Store policies governing app preview assets will come into effect in the second half of the year. The guidelines instruct graphics; videos; and short descriptions to “accurately represent” apps and games, “provide enough information” to users; don’t use buzzwords like “free” or “best,” and are localised correctly.
“Assets that don’t meet our guidelines may be ineligible for promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home,” Google says.
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