On May 29th, Google announced new regulations for apps that target kids (directly or indirectly) that require publishers to only use ad networks from a certified short-list of select partners when serving in-app advertising.
KIDOZ, the most popular kid-focused SDK in the market, is one of the first networks to be certified by Google.
The new regulations titled “Building a Safer Google Play for Kids” are a welcome step that will create a safer experience for kids on mobile and eliminate the embarrassing situation of adult-oriented ads frequently appearing in kids apps and inappropriately collecting sensitive information at the same time.
What does it mean for App Developers?
By September 1st, 2019 all apps must assess their target audience and those that target kids (directly or indirectly) must implement some important changes.
All developers should follow these important steps:
1. Assess the Target Audience of your App based on the App genre and the Google Play description and marketing assets that you submit.
Your assessment (along with Google’s review) will determine which of the three target audiences applies to you.
The three possible target audiences are: Children, Children and Older Users, and Older Users.
2. If your Target Audience is “Children” you must exclude all Non-Certified Ad Networks from showing ads within your apps.
If you wish to display ads in your app you must select a certified partner network.
3. If your Target Audience is “Children and Older Users” you must implement age-screening measures to verify your users’ age and if you identify that a user is a child (under 13 years of age), you will need to ensure that 100% of the ads shown to that user come exclusively from one of Google Play’s certified ad networks.
This means that ANY casual game that is attracting users of all ages will need to implement an Age Gate process to identify if the user is a kid or adult.
Example of an Age Gate done right, from Cut The Rope
We recommend refraining from setting the default age to that of an adult, as this may be considered misleading and has resulted in apps being rejected and even resulted in the initiation of lawsuits.
Aside from Kidoz, which automatically presents 100% kid-friendly campaigns, most of the networks require additional settings to exclude non-COPPA ads and unsuitable categories. For example, see Admob’s instructions on content filtering.
4. Set a target audience for each of your apps in the Google Play Console.
This process is initiated from the App Content tab. If you need help in managing your target audiences, visit this page on Google’s help center .
The KIDOZ team is here to help you ensure your app is compliant with Google’s new regulations so please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.