Google’s policy change for child-directed apps: Are you ready?

By June 8, 2017Uncategorized

Google is doing the right thing in the Under 13 app space. For years app developers of kid focused apps ran advertisements  primarily from admob and other mobile networks that were not age appropriate for kids. This resulted in toddlers’ apps showing ads for insurance,e-commerce, health, and even dating products.

Ads with violent and graphic content not appropriate for children (Source: Google)

Google wants to change all of that pretty soon and if you develop apps for the U13 market, you should probably pay attention. Some publishers work with kid focused solutions like KIDOZ already, but ones that have built their entire business around promoting irrelevant network advertising, they are in for a big change.

What exactly is changing?

Starting July 10th, all developers who publish apps on Google Play will be asked to declare whether their app is primarily child-directed (in the Play Console).
If your apps ARE child directed in their theme and/or nature (educational games, creativity & brain games or simple casual games aimed at kids), you will now be required to opt-in to Google’s Designed for Families program and comply with their requirements.

In addition to the Google Play request of not using Google sign-in, Google Play Game Services or Android Speech API, the main issue to be considered is the type of ads and promotions used in your apps.

To comply as a designed for family app, you must ensure all ads are appropriate for children and follow these strict rules:

  • Ad walls must not be used 
  • Interstitial ads must not display immediately upon app launch
  • A maximum of one ad placement per page
  • Ads must be clearly distinguishable from app content

(Taken from Developer Policy Center)

What should you do next?

We suggest you reach out and confirm with ALL ad networks you currently work with to set a COPPA-compliant tag for all ads you’re serving; or ensure that your apps are set as child-oriented. If they cannot commit to exclusively serving kid-friendly ads, you may need to discontinue using them.

If you are using the KIDOZ platform across all of your child-oriented apps, we want to emphasize that KIDOZ SDK meticulously follows all of the Google Play guidelines and we will gladly work with you to ensure the overall experience is completely in alignment with Google’s policy.

The KIDOZ SDK: Kid Friendly Promotions within kid oriented apps


Here at KIDOZ we applaud Google for the steps they are taking in order to help make apps safer and friendlier for kids, publishers and brands.

Next: How to Get Into the Google Designed for Families Section in 4 Steps