The Chrome Web Store is undergoing a transformation, as Google seeks to phase out Chrome apps entirely. Extensions are still sticking around, but now the company has placed a ban on paid extensions, leaving some developers frustrated.
"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," Developer Advocate Simeon Vincent wrote in a forum post. "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."
Google didn't provide any further details, but the ban places developers between a rock and a hard place: no new paid extensions can be published, and each update to existing extensions has to be manually reviewed by Chrome Web Store support. Before Google made the announcement, some developers even had their extensions removed from the store (with some having their entire account suspended) after attempting to publish updates.
I just got this email from Google.
However, StopTheMadness still seems to be in the Chrome Web Store at the moment.
WHAT. THE. FUCK. pic.twitter.com/sVmNlnIcAT
— Jeff Johnson (@lapcatsoftware) January 22, 2020
Google said it doesn't have an exact timeline for when the ban will be lifted. It seems many of the problems that plague the Play Store — including limited support options and automatic suspensions — are also common on the Chrome Web Store.
- Google Groups