Understand upcoming changes to news and news-related apps

This article provides an overview of recent changes and steps developers can take to comply with the News policy  requirements. It is not a substitute for the policy itself; read the policy in its entirety to ensure that you understand and comply with its contents.

Overview of changes

To ensure better user experience, Google has updated policy language to consider certain apps listed under the News and Magazine category as news apps.

Additionally, Google is updating the requirements for contact information and author information.

Requirements for News apps

With this update, apps that have not previously declared as “News” in Play Console, but nonetheless list themselves under the “News and Magazine” category on Google Play, and describe themselves as news apps will fall under the coverage of the updated News policy

The update is additionally relaxing the contact information requirement for news apps, and now requires only one form of contact information: either an email address or a phone number.

Finally, a news app will no longer be required to list individual authors for individual articles as long as the news app has ownership or is the original publisher of the articles.

News apps must continue to adhere to other requirements listed in the policy, such as ensuring that the content is free from significant spelling and grammatical errors, providing updated news content, refraining from having affiliate marketing or ad revenue as the primary purpose, and denoting publishing sources on news aggregator apps.  

Note that if your app primarily contains user-generated content (for example, social media apps) or has the primary purpose of generating revenue through the sale of products or services, then it should not be declared as a News app within Google Play. 

Additional notes

As per the requirements of Rule 5 of the Indian Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021 (Intermediary and Digital Media Rules, 2021), Google is required to inform you that, in addition to the applicable Terms of Service, publishers of news and current affairs content may be required by Rule 18 of the Intermediary and Digital Media Rules to furnish the details of their accounts on Google Play to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

 

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