Google has quietly updated the monetization section of its Play Store app developer policy with a new section on ‘lockscreen monetization’.
As noted by Android Police, ads that appear on the Android lockscreen have grown out of hand lately. Most users expect the lockscreen to be free of adware and used sparingly for notifications. But some apps, including once-reliable ones, have been abusing the lockscreen notifications to serve ads.
Google appears to have been reluctant to do anything in response to the growing number of apps that abuse the lockscreen. Its stance annoyed users enough for someone to create a spreadsheet that lists all the apps that display ads on the lockscreen without notifying the user beforehand.
Google hasn’t banned lockscreen ads outright, but it has introduced a rule that limits the types of apps that can serve them. For example, a photo app or file-management app now isn’t allowed to monetize the lockscreen, but a lockscreen app may continue to do so.
“Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device,” the policy reads.
It remains to be seen whether Google actually enforces its new policy for lockscreen monetization.
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