Changes are coming to this article
This article will be updated with recently announced changes.
To provide a safer and more predictable experience for child users, we are updating our Google Play Families Ads and Monetization policy to disallow ads practices that are not clearly identifiable as advertising by child users. App developers and SDK providers will need to ensure that their ads are not presented as offerwalls and that their ad closing functionality does not immediately trigger a new ad. (effective December 7, 2023)
To preview the updated “Google Play Families Policies” article, visit this page.
The use of technology as a tool for enriching families' lives continues to grow, and parents are looking for safe, high-quality content to share with their children. You may be designing your apps specifically for children or your app may just attract their attention. Google Play wants to help you make sure your app is safe for all users, including families.
The word "children" can mean different things in different locales and in different contexts. It is important that you consult with your legal counsel to help determine what obligations and/or age-based restrictions may apply to your app. You know best how your app works so we are relying on you to help us make sure apps on Google Play are safe for families.
All apps that comply with Google Play Families policies can opt in to be rated for the Teacher Approved program, but we cannot guarantee that your app will be included in the Teacher Approved program.
Play Console Requirements
Target Audience and Content
In the Target Audience and Content section of the Google Play Console you must indicate the target audience for your app, prior to publishing, by selecting from the list of age groups provided. Regardless of what you identify in the Google Play Console, if you choose to include imagery and terminology in your app that could be considered targeting children, this may impact Google Play's assessment of your declared target audience. Google Play reserves the right to conduct its own review of the app information that you provide to determine whether the target audience that you disclose is accurate.
If you select a target audience that only includes adults, but Google determines that this is inaccurate because your app is targeting both children and adults, you will have the option to make clear to users that your app is not targeting children by agreeing to carry a warning label.
You should only select more than one age group for your app's target audience if you have designed your app for and ensured that your app is appropriate for users within the selected age group(s). For example, apps designed for babies, toddlers, and preschool children should only have the age group "Ages 5 & Under" selected as the age group target for those apps. If your app is designed for a specific level of school, choose the age group that best represents that school level. You should only select age groups that include both adults and children if you truly have designed your app for all ages.
Updates to Target Audience and Content Section
You can always update your app's information in the Target Audience and Content section in the Google Play Console. An app update is required before this information will be reflected on the Google Play store. However, any changes you make in this section of the Google Play Console may be reviewed for policy compliance even before an app update is submitted.
We strongly recommend that you let your existing users know if you change the target age group for your app or start using ads or in-app purchases, either by using the "What's New" section of your app's store listing page or through in-app notifications.
Misrepresentation in Play Console
Misrepresentation of any information about your app in the Play Console, including in the Target Audience and Content section, may result in removal or suspension of your app, so it is important to provide accurate information.
Families Policy Requirements
Examples of common violations
If one of the target audiences for your app is children, you must comply with the following requirements. Failure to satisfy these requirements may result in app removal or suspension.
Ads and Monetization
If you’re monetizing an app that targets children on Google Play, it’s important that your app follows the following Families Ads and Monetization Policy Requirements.
The policies below apply to all monetization and advertising in your app, including ads, cross-promotions (for your apps and third party apps), offers for in-app purchases, or any other commercial content (such as paid product placement). All monetization and advertising in these apps must comply with all applicable laws and regulations (including any relevant self-regulatory or industry guidelines).
Google Play reserves the right to reject, remove or suspend apps for overly aggressive commercial tactics.
If your app displays ads to children or to users of unknown age, you must:
Examples of common violations
Ads Format requirements
Monetization and advertising in your app must not have deceptive content or be designed in a way that will result in inadvertent clicks from child users.
If the sole target audience for your app is children, the following are prohibited. If the target audiences of your app is children and older audiences, the following are prohibited when serving ads to children or users of unknown age:
Here are some examples of inappropriate ad content that should not be displayed to children.
If you serve ads in your app and your target audience only includes children, then you must use only Families self-certified ads SDK versions. If the target audience for your app includes both children and older users, you must implement age screening measures, such as a neutral age screen, and make sure that ads shown to children come exclusively from Google Play self-certified ads SDK versions.
If you use AdMob, refer to the AdMob Help Center for more details on their products.
It is your responsibility to ensure your app satisfies all requirements concerning advertisements, in-app purchases, and commercial content. Contact your ads SDK provider(s) to learn more about their content policies and advertising practices.