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28 Jan 2021 faisan

Google to Go Easy on Play Store Policies on Gamified Loyalty Programs

Tech giant Google is going to simplify its Play Store policies on gamified loyalty programs so that it gives more clarity to the application developers. Popular food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato had to put a halt to their in-app gamification features back in September 2020 as they had violated norms of Play Store.

Paytm is yet another flagship application that got temporarily delisted from Google Play Store because their IPL-based cashback promotion flouted the anti-gambling policy. Along with this takedown, Google also wanted 30% commission on in-app purchases from Play Store, raising a lot of eyebrows among Indian startup founders. As a result, Google has deferred the enforcement to 2022 April. Atmanirbhar Digital India Foundation (ADIF) was formed by a group of Indian startups earlier in January so that a liaison can be formed between government and regulatory agencies and protect their freedom of choice for domestic internet companies.

Suzanne Fray, vice president (product) for Android Security and Privacy, said that after several discussions with startup leaders in India and rest of the world and the feedback they received, Google has come up with this idea.

"App developers in India are actively building uniquely Indian features and services. One example is the use of mini-games, quizzes and other gamification techniques to convert users into loyal customers,” Frey said in a statement as reported by The Economic Times.

“These experiences are often launched during important festivals and sporting events, and getting it right within the specific time window is critically important" Frey said.

Google’s new policy will give more clarity on features like spin-the-wheel-experience, guessing games and others, as Frey said in the statement to the media.

"While we do not allow Real Money Gambling apps on Play Store in India, we remain committed to engaging with industry and government bodies as they deliberate on measures that will best support this industry," Frey said in the statement.

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