The changes that have been made to the Chrome Web Store by Google in these previous months have been in an effort to curb down on the increasing malicious and fraudulent extensions that had become an issue for many users.
The new changes, which are expected to take effect in the next several months come after the tech giant had temporarily suspended paid extensions earlier this year due to fraudulent transactions. Google will be pulling the plug on all paid extensions completely as announced.
Since March, developers haven’t been able to submit their new paid extensions to the Chrome Web Store but with this week’s announcement, it finally confirms the reports that have been circulating around. Free trial options offered on the store will also be ending on December 1.
This new development also means that developers who have been making some money from the extensions will have no choice but monetize them using other payment-handling systems, including a new licensing API.
On February 21, 2021, all paid Chrome extensions will lose access to payments through the Web Store. Sometime later in the year, too, Google will pull the plug on its licensing API that enables developers to verify that a user has actually paid for the extension.
Google pulling the plug on all paid extensions on its Chrome Web Store could be a good thing
Let’s think about it for a second, though the web store has been a good financial resource for developers, which has in the last several years encouraged even more extension development. The fact that many or some have taken advantage of users through malicious and fraudulent transactions that see the issues go down further.
The action to take down paid extensions may, however, not end the problem of users facing malicious extensions entirely but in the long run, it will help make the Chrome Web Store a little bit more secure.
‘The Chrome Web Store payments system is now deprecated and will be shut down over the coming months. There are many other ways to monetize your extensions, and if you currently use Chrome Web Store payments, you’ll need to migrate to one of them’ – the announcement read.
Apart from these changes, Google made several others including a number of policy updates in April which are intended to reduce spammy extensions, including banning multiple ones that do the same thing, not allowing developers to manipulate reviews to try to get better placement for their extension, and forbidding extensions that abuse notifications.
How these new changes will affect the store is yet to be seen in the next few months though, very few people have been purchasing Chrome extensions since many of them are free. So, the developers have been monetizing them will be the ones that will be affected most by this.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.