Google is updating its policies on gamified loyalty programs, an update which comes after confusion over how the policy was being enforced in India. in September, the Paytm app was briefly taken down from the Google Play Store over confusion around the policy. The incident led to criticism from Indian startups.
Gamified loyalty programs refer to the mini-games and quizzes you often find on many platforms. Going up during important events like festivals or the during the beginning of sporting seasons, gamification techniques are an important part of several startups including Paytm.
“As part of the very first policy update of 2021 we are clarifying and simplifying the policies around loyalty programs and features,” said Frey in the post. Set to provide “more clarity on policy requirements” the new guidelines outline what kind of features can be implemented in apps in such loyalty programs.
“Based on feedback from developers globally, we have updated our policy guidance on gamified loyalty programs that are based on a qualified monetary transaction in the app and offer prizes of cash or other real-world value,” said the post.
These may include elements like a spin-the-wheel experience, a guessing game, or other games. The California-based tech giant, however, remains adamant on not allowing real-money based games on the Google Play Store.
Google launches new web resource to help developers
Google also announced the launch of ‘How Google Play Works’, a new web repository of information and best practices. These will help developers to add newer elements in their apps while knowing that they are not violating any Play Store policies. The repository also contains “India-specific details on programs that local developers can leverage to find success and scale.”
“For users, this site helps to demystify key aspects of the Google Play platform, and explains how user security and protection remains at the heart of everything we do,” added the blog.