Google has announced plans to permanently shutdown all paid-for extensions for its Chrome browser. That means third-party developers looking to offer new functionality will have to find another way to monetise and fund the development of future updates.
From this week, the Chrome Web Store will no longer be accepting any paid-for extensions. This policy was introduced back in March – albeit as a temporary measure following a spike in fraud from extensions available from the Chrome Web Store. Google has now decided to cement the policy.
For those who don’t know, Chrome extensions, sometimes referred to as “add-ons”, bring additional functionality not baked into the Chrome web browser. These small apps, which live in the taskbar of the browser, can autofill details in usernames and passwords, keep tabs on your browsing history to offer discount codes for shopping results you’ve browsed in the past, take screenshots of entire webpages without the need to scrolldown and much, much more.
While many of these are free extensions, or free to those with existing logins to paid-for services, some options are only available to those who pay a fee. However, these options will now be a thing of the past, following the recent announcements from Google. However, given the worrying uptick in fraudulent transactions traced back to paid-for Chrome extensions… the change could save millions of Chrome web browser users from unnecessary costs.
The permanent and wide-ranging suspension includes all Chrome extensions that need an upfront payment, monthly recurring payments or offer in-app purchases.
The ban will impact a number of popular developers, like Dashlane – a popular password manager that auto-fills your login information and generates secure, unique pass-phrases for each of your online accounts, and Comeet – a small add-on that helps track applicants to new roles at your firm.
Existing Google Chrome web browser users can continue to use paid-for extensions for the moment. However, Google has confirmed plans to phase-out paid-for features in extensions in the coming months. Starting December 1, 2020, free trials will no longer be offered by paid-for extensions in the Chrome Web Store.
Published at Thu, 24 Sep 2020 06:01:00 +0000