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Google today introduced a new Google Play program called “Designed for Families.” As its name implies, the program allows Android developers to designate their apps and games as kid-friendly.

Approved apps and games will be eligible for upcoming family-focused promotions on Google Play. In other words, parents will soon be able to discover age-appropriate content and make more informed choices about what goes on their Android devices.

It’s a smart move on Google’s part, as the company notes there are already “thousands” of Android developers creating apps and games for families and children. In the company’s own words, these apps and games “broaden the mind and inspire creativity.” They don’t just feature age-appropriate content; the user interfaces are designed for children, and they often include interactive features that educate as well as entertain.

The new program will be rolling out slowly. Starting today, developers can opt-in their app or game through the Google Play Developer Console.


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From there, Google will review submissions to verify that they meet the Designed for Families program requirements. These are quite extensive, but here are the basics:

  1. Apps must be rated as ESRB Everyone or Everyone 10+, or equivalent
  2. If your Designed for Families app displays ads, you confirm that:
    2.1 You comply with applicable legal obligations relating to advertising to children.
    2.2 Ads displayed to child audiences do not involve interest-based advertising or remarketing.
    2.3 Ads displayed to child audiences present content that is consistent with the app’s content rating.
    2.4 Ads displayed to child audiences follow the Designed for Families ad format requirements.
  3. You must accurately disclose the app’s interactive elements on the content rating questionnaire, including:
    3.1 Users can interact or exchange information.
    3.2 Shares user-provided personal information with third parties.
    3.3 Shares the user’s physical location with other users.
  4. Apps that target child audiences may not use Google+ Sign-In or Google Play game services as the login experience for their app.

Apps in the program that do not maintain compliance with these requirements may not only lose the “Designed for Families” designation, but could be removed from the Google Play store. Google says new ways to promote family content to Google Play users will be rolling out “in the coming weeks.”

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