Google Begins Charging Devs $5 To List Chrome Extensions, Themes, And Apps

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Completely open stores and galleries are great — until you realize that they quickly get loaded up with crap. And especially when you realize that some of that crap is intending to be malicious. With that in mind, Google today is announcing a couple new rules for its Chrome extensions, themes, and soon, apps.

The biggest change is that now all developers will be subject to a one-time $5 fee from Google if they wish to have their extensions, themes, and apps published in Google’s galleries. Google notes that they’re waving the fee for those who have already registered for the galleries previously — and those people can keep pushing updates without paying the fee.

But for all new developers, the fee begins today. Google say it is “intended to create better safeguards against fraudulent extensions in the gallery and limit the activity of malicious developer accounts.”

The other thing they’re doing on that end is domain verification. Extensions and soon apps will be able to be linked to their own domains. So, for example, if Google makes an extension if can be shown as verified from google.com. This is to help highlight “official” extension, Google says.

Google says they now have over 6,000 extensions in their gallery. And they’re downloaded some 10 million times a month by Chrome users.

By the 6,000 metric, Google would have made a whopping $30,000 if they had they extension fee in place from the beginning — so clearly this isn’t about the money. Instead, it seems more like those tiny fees charged when we do a free movie ticket giveaway. We just want to know you’re real and that you intend to actually come to the movie.

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