Understand upcoming changes to news and news-related apps

Changes are coming to this article

This article will soon be updated to reflect changes included in our July 2021 policy updates.

The updated article provides further policy clarifications for news apps, which will be effective September 1, 2021.

To preview the updated "Understand upcoming changes to news and news-related apps" article, visit this page.

We recently announced changes to our News policy that will affect how news apps and news-related apps (such as news aggregators) are listed and promoted on Google Play.

This article provides an overview of the changes, and what you will need to do to authenticate your app and meet the new requirements. It is not a substitute for the policy itself; read the policy in its entirety to ensure you understand and comply with its contents.

Overview of changes

To create clearer delineation between news-related apps and other types of apps, Google has updated policies and requirements for apps declaring themselves as News on Google Play. Typical examples of apps that fall into this category include but are not limited to news aggregators and newspapers apps.

We’re making these changes to ensure transparency in news publishing on Google Play, and to promote greater accountability for developers that create, aggregate, or share news. The scope of these changes does not include making judgements about the quality of the news content itself.

Requirements for News apps

An app that declares itself as a "News" app on Google Play must be able to show clear ownership of the app and provide ownership information about in-app news content. This means that you, as the app developer, must display: 

  • The official website for news content published in your app (e.g., mynews.com or newsaggregator.com); 
  • An app support page or developer website; and 
  • Valid and verifiable contact information for the publisher of news content in your app, such as an email address, phone number, mailing address, or a link to a ‘contact us’ page.
  • Alternatively, if your app aggregates news published from other sources, you must indicate the original publisher of each article. 

Google will use the information provided on the store listing, in the app, and the linked website to authenticate the developer. Here are a few examples of information that demonstrates a validated link between the app developer and the publisher of news content:

  • The website of the news publisher explicitly links to the corresponding news app
  • App developer has claimed and verified the a news publishers’ website domain
  • Documentation that validates an app developer’s credentials as a news publisher (e.g., prior work, your verifiable association with the press industry)

News apps that aggregate content from different publishing sources must be transparent about the publishing source of the content in the app, and each of the sources must meet the News policy requirements.

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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