Google Play already tells you if an app has in-app purchases before you install it, and soon it’ll tell you if that app has ads, too.
Google has updated its Google Play support documents to say that developers need to declare whether or not their app includes ads, whether that’s through third-party ad networks, display ads, native ads, or banner ads. This is because Google will start placing an “Ads” label on store listing pages of apps that include ads. Developers need to declare whether or not their apps have ads by January 11, 2016, so this “Ads” Google Play label may launch on or shortly after that date.
Apps that are designated as being family-friendly and also have ads already include a similar label in their listings. Beneath the green “Install” button, these apps have a label that reads “Ad-supported family app.” So Google is just planning on expanding this label to all apps in Google Play, not just family apps.
After adding an “In-app purchases” label to Google Play app listings, a new “Ads” label seems to make some sense. Like in-app purchases, ads inside of an app can affect the experience of using the app. What we’ll have to watch for are the reactions to the “Ads” label from consumers and developers. Will consumers start change their mind about downloading an app when they see the “Ads” label? Will developers ditch ads and maybe switch to a paid or in-app purchase model to avoid the “Ads” label? We’ll have to wait and see.