How to Get into the Google Designed for Families Section in 4 Steps

By December 17, 2018 No Comments

If an app is launched but users can’t find it in the Play Store, does it really exist? Discoverability is essential for any app’s success, and for kids to enjoy a game, they must be able to find it and download it.

With a sea of apps available today, the Designed for Families Program provides parents with a place to find kid-friendly apps in Google Play, and helps kids find the best and most engaging content that is right for their needs and age. For developers of kid-centered apps to connect with parents and reach relevant users, they must meet the requirements of DFF. Bottom line, being in the Designed for Families Program will help users looking for great content for kids find you – and is worth the effort.

Here is how to get into the Designed for Families section in the Google Play Store.

1. Focus on Things that Interest Kids

The Designed for Families program is structured to make it simple for parents and kids to find great apps that are appropriate for kids’ interests and abilities. While thinking of kids’ needs helps you create apps that enrich them, focusing on their interests will help you create apps that they love. Of course, using kid-friendly characters and images will help, as will sticking to topics that get kids excited; but keep in mind that what interests a 4-year-old probably won’t interest an 8-year-old.

In addition to contextual categories, the DFF section is divided into age-based rating categories, and apps must have a rating to participate. Using these age ratings, the parents of a 3-year-old can quickly filter to apps meant for kids under 5, find and download an approved Thomas & Friends app, and watch their child play and learn with puzzles.

2. Add Value for Your Users

For an app to be included in the family section it’s not enough to simply be appropriate for kids, it must also include added value. There are a lot of ways an app can provide value for kids: an app can offer a child a self-learning tool to practice reading, or the means to develop problem-solving skills through play. In fact, kids spend more time engaging with apps where they can learn something. You can read more about creating apps kids love here.

3. Include a Kid-Friendly Privacy Policy

When working with kids, privacy is always a focus, and digital products must comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). For an app to comply with the Designed for Families section a COPPA-compliant privacy policy must be posted for users. Don’t forget that privacy for kids’ apps means you can’t collect information from users, and you must have  parental consent for any information that is shared.

4. Implement a Kid-Safe Monetization Method

Of course, developers need to generate revenue to continue making great apps and providing users with fun experiences. With kids’ apps, your monetization tools must also be COPPA compliant, meaning parents’ consent or involvement is required for any payments.

When choosing a monetization method, it’s important to consider how users are using your app. Most kids’ apps utilize one of the following revenue generation methods: one-time/subscription payment, free with in-app purchases, free with ads or some combination of the last two. Developers shouldn’t be afraid of free apps, as there are several ways to generate revenue while staying true to your original vision and creating value for kids.

In the KIDOZ App Store (offered on branded versions of KIDOZ Play Mode) free apps are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps. Offering a free app might seem scary for developers when thinking about how to generate revenue from their apps for kids, because most advertising networks aren’t designed for kids. The KIDOZ SDK, however, is designed purely with kids’ apps use in mind; all promotions are approved for kids, and recommended content can be optimized for each app, which increases user engagement. And, KIDOZ is certified COPPA-compliant and implements the specific requirements of Family ads, including only showing one promotion at a time, keeping ads separate from the game, and not encouraging accidental clicks. 

Once you have confirmed the appropriate age rating, uploaded a COPPA- compliant privacy policy, and implemented a kid-friendly monetization model, your app is ready to be submitted to the Designed for Families section through the Google Play Developer Console.

If You Have an Android App for Kids, the Designed for Families Section is a Must

Creating apps for kids is rewarding, and it’s fulfilling to see the joy and benefit kids get from learning and interacting with games. However, to get users, an app must be discoverable. The Designed for Families Program helps developers connect with the right users, and anyone creating children’s apps should apply the necessary steps to join the program.

Image from Official Android Blog