Ads are unavoidable. They’re in a significant portion of the apps we download, on almost every website, and bombard us on television and radio. Ads can be a good thing as they inform us about products we’d otherwise know nothing about. But, they can become so intrusive that people take steps to get rid of them with ad-blockers.
Most people find it acceptable when ads are displayed somewhere within the app. What crosses the line is when those apps start displaying ads in the notification bar or on the lock screen. You might remember that several years ago Google banned ads in the notification bar and now it is taking similar steps for the lock screen too. In a new section on the developer’s monetization page, Google lays out the new rules. The section named “Lockscreen Monetization” states:
Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.
The biggest takeaway here is that third-party lock screen apps are still able to display ads. But, unless an app is specifically designed to replace your lock screen, it should be banned from displaying ads there. One of the most high profile apps to do so was ES File Explorer. Last year it displayed a “Charging Booster” ad in its free version, much to the chagrin of users everywhere. It eventually removed the ads after user backlash, but other apps still use these deceptive ads. I’ve personally seen family members with them on their lock screen. When questioned, they don’t know how they got there, but just want them gone. Hopefully, Google’s new policy can do just that.
What do you think about the changes? Should apps be able to advertise wherever they want? Let us know down in the comments.