Google is tightening regulations on Chrome extensions, targeting apps that inject ads and trigger more pop-ups.
Following its policy change last month, Google now insists that Chrome Web Store extensions have “a single purpose that is clear to users.” Google is now showing that it is willing to enforce these policies, by removing extensions that will not comply.
In this case, the culprits were the extensions ‘Add to Feedly’, and ‘Tweet This Page’.
Users began to complain about the extensions after a code update increased the number of pop-up ads appearing in users’ browser sessions. Shortly thereafter, The Wall Street Journal reports, Google removed the offending extensions for the violation.
Google’s updated Chrome Web Store developer policy states:
“Do not create an extension that requires users to accept bundles of unrelated functionality, such as an email notifier and a news headline aggregator. If two pieces of functionality are clearly separate, they should be put into two different extensions, and users should have the ability to install and uninstall them separately. For example, functionality that displays product ratings and reviews, but also injects ads into web pages, should not be bundled into a single extension.”
This move should help to eliminate excess extensions from the Google store which are only there to produce revenue in discreet ways, and will help to squish a rising trend of browser bloatware.
The other less discreet target of Google’s new rules is the practice of accepting payment to include ad code inside of extensions. According to the WSJ, the developers of both “Add to Feedly” and “Tweet This Page” accepted money in order to alter their extensions’ code.
While Google is well known for its open approach to application developers, it has shown that it is still willing to maintain its principles.