Google Chrome extension developers who try to publish new paid extensions for the Chrome web browser or update existing ones started to notice last week that Google would reject these outright with the rejection message "Spam and Placement in the Store".
The Chrome Web Store accepts free and paid extensions unlike most other web browser stores that only accept free extensions (developers may still request a form of payment or subscription using other means).
A study published in mid 2019 revealed that 8.9% of all Chrome extensions fell into the paid category and that commercial extensions made up only 2.6% of all extension installations.
Chrome Extensions Developer Advocate Simeon Vincent published an announcement on the official Chromium Extensions forum on Google Groups that provides information on the decision.
According to the information, Google decided to halt all commercial Chrome extension publications because of a "significant increase in the number of fraudulent transactions involving paid Chrome extensions that aim to exploit users". The abuse is happening on scale according to the message and Google decided to disable publishing paid items temporarily as a consequence.
Earlier this month the Chrome Web Store team detected a significant increase in the number of fraudulent transactions involving paid Chrome extensions that aim to exploit users. Due to the scale of this abuse, we have temporarily disabled publishing paid items. This is a temporary measure meant to stem this influx as we look for long-term solutions to address the broader pattern of abuse.
If you have paid extensions, subscriptions, or in app-purchases and have received a rejection for "Spam and Placement in the Store" this month, this is most likely the cause.
Developers affected by this will receive a "Spam and Placement in the Store" rejection. Vincent notes that developers should "reply to the rejection and request an appeal" to get the item published in the store; this process must be repeated for each new version of the extension according to Google.
Google made the announcement on January 25, 2020 on the official Chromium Extensions group but developers who tried to update or publish paid extensions have run into the issues for days without any form of information.
The only option that developers have at this point in time is to appeal the decision each time they publish an update or a new extension. Google has been criticized in the past for its handling of developers on the Chrome Web Store and in particular the rejection messages that often reveal little about the detected issue.
Now You: have you ever installed a paid Chrome extension? (via ZDnet)Advertisement
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