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VPNs in Limbo After Google Blocks Ability To Pay For Extensions

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Google Android Chrome Extensions

I use a lot of Chrome extensions on my laptop, from image converters, ad blockers and the one and only Grammerly. Yes the YouTube ad got to me. Thankfully, the free versions work well for me but there are those of you who like that premium feel. Well, things are about to change.

Paid Chrome Extensions are on their way Out

In an announcement today, Google notes that is shutting down paid Chrome extensions offered on the Chrome Web Store. So what doe sthis mean? Developers trying to monetize their extensions will have to do so with other payment-handling systems.

If you’re an extension developer, it’s high time you considered other monetization ways for your products.

As of Monday, developers can no longer make new paid extensions, according to Google. In March there was already a set policy that follows a temporary suspension of publishing paid extensions in January. This is after Google noticed an uptick in fraudulent transactions that “aim to exploit users.”

Developers will, for the time being, continue to use the Licensing API to tell the status of active subscription. However, they won’t auto-renew.

From here on, Google will gradually phase out other functionality over the coming months. By February 1st, Google says that existing extensions can no longer charge customers using the Chrome Web Store’s payments system.

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Image: Google

These aren’t the only notable changes to extensions that Google has made this year. The company rolled out a number of policy updates in April intended to reduce spammy extensions, including

  • Banning multiple extensions that do the same thing
  • Not allowing developers to manipulate reviews to try to get better placement for their extension
  • Forbidding extensions that abuse notifications.

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