This article was published on February 8, 2017

Millions of apps could soon be purged from Google Play Store

Millions of apps could soon be purged from Google Play Store
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Over the last 24 hours, Google has been sending notices to developers worldwide stating its intention to “limit visibility” or remove apps from the Play Store that violate the company’s User Data policy. For most devs, the violation seems to be a simple one: lack of a privacy policy.

Here’s the full text:

Google’s plan to take action on offending apps stands to affect millions of so-called “zombie apps” littering the Play Store. Others won’t have the motivation or the know-how to create the privacy policy — especially for poor-performers — and could see their app removed as part of a purge that’s undoubtedly coming.

For some, though, the move is a welcome one. Jack Cooney of Nerd Agency — creator of the popular “Hip Hop Ninja!” app says:

I think it’s fantastic, this will clear the Google Play store of so many junk and zombie apps that our games will find increased visibility on the store as the search terms will become much less cluttered.

This will make it easier for people to be able to find our app’s like Hop Hop Ninja! with better keyword searches like ninja or Nerd Agency and find much more relevant results. (A previous pain point of developing for Android).

He’s right. One of the most common gripes among Android developers — aside from segmentation issues — is that of a crowded marketplace that makes it difficult at times to find what you’re looking for. Google’s coming purge — as perhaps a welcome side effect to consumer privacy concerns that forced the issue — helps to clear the noise and help users find the signal, or the app, in this case.

App developers have until March 15 to make the privacy policy addition, or Google warns “administrative action will be taken to limit the visibility of your app, up to and including removal from the Play Store.”

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