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Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

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Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby redmotion » 01 Aug 2012, 21:55

You've probably read this already but Google Play have changed their policy guidelines:

http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html

I thought it was interesting specifically in regards to their new Ads policy.

I've been using Leadbolt and they seem to encourage the use of "blocking ads" (ads that require you to click on an offer to proceed). I personally decided against using tactics like this and now it seems, Google want it stopped:
Forcing the user to click on ads or submit personal information for advertising purposes in order to fully use an app provides a poor user experience and is prohibited. Users must be able to dismiss the ad without penalty.


However, while Leadbolt has made me a little bit of money, it's also got me five 1 star reviews in close succession, even though NONE of the ads interrupt the flow of the game or interfere with other aps or use of the device (I use notifications and app icon right now).

I actually think these changes are fair because as an end user, if I came across a blocking ad that didn't allow me to skip it, I would would uninstall the offending app immediately (although I wouldn't post a dumb 1 star review complaining about the ads).

Anyone else had "disgruntled" customers due to their in-app advertising? If not/so, what ad types do you use? I'm thinking of dropping ads altogether and go for in-app purchases instead.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby Santo » 01 Aug 2012, 22:16

Sorry if i can't offer my personal experience -no apps published so far- but i noticed a SMART way to monetize an app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.droidhen.defender2
Defender 2 is free and is perfectly enjoyable (although uses *sometime* blocking ads) with ads,
moreover the game offers in app purchases *and* you can earn "free" ( :lol: ) crystals in the defender shop completing free tasks (f.e.: download and start Cerberus Age for 5 crystals etc etc)
Those peoples are ssoooo smart... :D
(edit: i remark that the developers are very smart: the free tasks are not so free, i think it's not acceptable to install an application which (for example) can read my contacts list)
Shiva 1.9.2 Basic - Shiva 2.0 Beta 1.0
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby dbladez » 02 Aug 2012, 00:19

So far with leadbolt has been pretty good.

However with my integration I am able to setup the Ads when I want so I don't just throw everything at them at the starts. Havn't got any 1 stars, however I removed the notification Ads anyways from self ethics I guess you could call it and and they are annoying as hell I guess as well haha. Because anyone I know usually eek at notification Ads apps and they usually delete them right away. I have found that just putting the x turned on to close the Ads seems the way to go. Also think that myself when trying any apps, if i can just click the x and close it doesn't really hurt my gaming experience.

I find 1 of 10 people will click or signup to help the cause since it helps independent video game developers continue to self publish free app versions. The click through is great, however sometimes you get clicks and then get $0.00. And think? what, sometimes they put in fake emails, however when a real email is added or they do click to install a free app and install another game successfully you get like $.70 for one click which Is a hit and miss kinda, however I find it hits on a regular basis.

Almost have the iOS integration complete soon also, however Xcode and objective c loves to give problems.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby error454 » 03 Aug 2012, 01:49

You will find that Android users as a general case are incredibly sensitive (see: sensitive little bitches) about app permissions and anything that happens without their express permission.

Ad icons and ad notifications are grounds for an instant uninstall and 1-star review on Android. I think there must be an app somewhere that awards points based on how quickly you uninstall an app, how low of a rating you give it and how many misspelled words you put in the comments.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby RedQueen » 03 Aug 2012, 02:27

That is one thing I have notice about Android reviewers is the complaining of ADS when they didn't pay for anything. I am an android user and do pay attention to what an app ask for permission for being that Google is more lenient on developers than Apple so you do have more malicious apps that are collecting information and doing other stuff. I had just removed a Photo Editor because there is no reason it should be

1. Reading my text messages
2. READ SENSITIVE LOG DATA

I don't see why a photo editor should be accessing this just to edit a photo.

So maybe the finger should be pointed more at malicious developers than the user. And Google also will tell user what the app ask for permission can possibly be a malicious app collecting sensitive information.

Apple gets a plus in this area cause they evaluate the apps in more detail than Google does so Apple User don't have to worry about malicious apps as much thus no complaints on permissions. That may change in the near future for Google cause they are trying to work out ways to lessen pirating and improve the user experience.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby error454 » 03 Aug 2012, 03:27

Android manifest permissions are unfortunately a sad state of affairs. As a developer I can understand why users would be suspicious of some of these permissions but unfortunately they are often necessary.

READ_LOGS is often used by developers as a diagnostic aid when their app crashes. It's the only way you can see what else was happening on the system. Google removed it in Jelly Bean though because it could be used for malicious purposes, unfortunately most of the malicious purposes are because idiot developers post sensitive information in the logs.

It might be hard to justify READ_SMS in a photo app. But there are other permissions that typically don't make sense to users that are legitimate. For instance READ_PHONE_STATE, if you want to mute the sounds your app is making when a phone call is received you need this permission, unfortunately most paranoid users think that you're trying to listen to their phone calls.

Similarly if you want to receive google cloud notifications, you need access to the account manager. If you want your QR code reader to be able to handle WIFI tags you need to be able to control WIFI state. If you want to be able to find other friends that use Scoreloop, you need permission to read contacts.

Unfortunately Google does a poor job of explaining what context permissions might be used in, users do a bad job of understanding and hackers do a bad job of exploiting them.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby RedQueen » 03 Aug 2012, 03:53

Too true.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby redmotion » 03 Aug 2012, 13:53

Google Play (Android in general) is the worst market because 1. It lets anyone put up anything without any approvals process. Which means the permissions have to be made public which means there is always an element of distrust between developer/user.

I initially chose Ad types that DO NOT interfere with the flow and experience of the game in any way and are easy to clear and ignore. But I guess people hate them. So I will probably ditch the ads altogether. However..

Even if I do ditch the ads in the next release, I can't remove the 1-star reviews, or request the users update their opinions.

I also have to deal with all the sales taxes myself.

I'll be clear. Over the last 2 years I've come to despise Android.

Google are tight. Saving money where ever they can and ultimately happy to offer a second rate, troublesome experience to everyone involved.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby freezer » 03 Aug 2012, 20:57

RedQueen wrote:1. Reading my text messages


My guess would be that the message is the owner of certain files? (Or it searches through them for references?)
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby RedQueen » 03 Aug 2012, 23:59

@freezer
It doesn't really give a clarification of why. It just tell you it does. The thing is they didn't add that permission until the update. That was my reason for saying why you need to read my sms messages. Cause when I went to update it google said this app has change some permission requirements and that was one of them.

@redmotion
Thanks for your input of saling through google play.Have you dealt with Amazon??

Or anyone dealt with Amazon.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby freezer » 04 Aug 2012, 01:15

Generally services in Linux will have their own group and user for security reasons and will own all the files, you'd generally need to be a member of the group to gain permissions so it sort of makes sense, especially with all the scare stories banded about by branded (costing) operating systems.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby redmotion » 04 Aug 2012, 08:55

@Redqueen

I'm using Amazon.
Unfortunately, they also have no way of dealing with negative user comments.

They also expect you to deal with sales taxes and don't pay you at all until you earn a certain amount. (At least Google Play pays you every month regardless of earnings). They do have a submissions process (similar to Apple) which means they have a higher level a trust with their users. Lastly, Amazon make their own hardware so the end-user is more likely to own that hardware. With just Kindle Fire as the main device, user experience is better because of less fragmentation. however, anyone with an Android device can access Amazon if their country is active.

For me, the main (and fatal) flaw in the Android Platform (this could be addressed if they had a way to test app performance on one test device and then extrapolate from that which devices it doesn't run on. They wouldn't even need every device. The performance of all Android devices is well known, BUT NOONE has decided to come up with a system to make easy to exclude rubbish devices from accessing your app store page. My experience would suggest only simple 2d apps are worth developing for Android.

My main point is these stores don't do anything to help developers and they expect 30% of YOUR earnings for essentially hosting your downloads and doing nothing else. Sometimes they can't even pay you on time (Google).

Apple charges the same percentage and does EVERYTHING that should be done. They deal with taxes, they ensure good user experience by vetting apps thoroughly, which is why the level of trust from users is much higher and developer RETURNS are higher as a result.

Blackberry is equal 1st place with Apple for several reasons:
1. You can ask them to market your app on the front pages of the store. You just need to do a little searching and reading on their site to find this info.
2. You can control user comments. Some people are just miserable old gits and will give you 1 star because the colour of logo isn't what they'd like (or something else as stupid). On Blackberry you can exclude comments like this. I think the 1 star still counts against the overall app rating BUT at least you can get rid of unhelpful comments like "This app sucks" which tell noone anything.
3. Fragmentation on Blackberry Playbook is NON-EXISTENT.
4. They have a approvals system.
5. Trust in Blackberry from end-users is highest of all. You can see this from how many people will be happy to take a chance with an app for £1. In my experience, this is 100 times higher than on Android. Freemium isn't a vital strategy on BBAppWorld as it is on the others.
6. They deal with sales tax in all their major markets (but not minor ones). They will be collecting taxes when they change the store soon.

The tragedy with Blackberry is the BB10 platform, while on release may have the lowest level of fragmentation and have all the advantages listed above, as a company they are struggling, and they may license BB10 to non-blackberry manufacturers. Unless they control hardware quality they will ultimately end up with the same issues as Android.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby RedQueen » 04 Aug 2012, 11:54

@redmotion

I was going to ask what does Google do to take a percentage of your sales. And 30% for nothing isn't a justification at all. :evil: And thanks for all the info. I had read an article that Amazon was supposedly changing all this..I guess it was a bunch of rubbish.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby rusty » 04 Aug 2012, 12:18

Google Play comes installed on all devices sold by carriers.

Also you can sell your app for free and take money from advertising.

They distribute using their bandwidth, allowing for updates, etc.
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Re: Google Play Changes their in-app Ad policy

Postby RedQueen » 04 Aug 2012, 12:34

@Rusty

Yea I saw that a lot of people was using this method for making money with Android apps but does the new in app policy effect a lot of people or only the ones that is doing extreme tactics of advertising? I saw RevMob was getting a lot of attention and I have yet to attempt the integration. I understand what you saying but when standing against what Apple and Blackberry does for the same percentage it gives off a low par attempt on Google end. Now if Blackberry/Apple were taking 30% and Google took 15% than it would appear more justifiable than take the same percentage and offer nothing to ease developers business process. Its more of a okay your app is up can be seen, now that 30% please.

I am all for Google because it is more open to freedom of expression vs Apple Guidelines of no adult content or other things that they just don't like. That is the huge plus I give Google. But developer spends time developing and testing they could at least handle sales better than what has been stated. But I guess if you do ads you wouldn't have that headache.
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