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making Play work for everyone


As Apps Partnerships lead for Google Play, I have the amazing opportunity of meeting with many companies who share great ideas and feedback on how we can support you creating and growing successful businesses.

In this latest edition of Notes from Google Play, I want to share some of your work that has inspired us, alongside what is top of mind for me and our team. What sums it up for me is our focus on making Google Play work for everyone. It’s about making Play work better for all of you – the people behind apps and games – making it easier for you to grow apps and games business, and helping you better serve everyone, everywhere.

I will kick us off by sharing the story of OLIO, one of the many apps that has inspired me this year. OLIO is a community-driven app that is fighting to reduce food waste. The app provides a way for people to easily give away food to neighbors. Founders, Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, had a goal to create local food sharing networks across the world and ensure nothing of value goes to waste. Having first launched the app in the UK, Tessa and Saasha’s belief in their core mission helped them expand the app to 62 countries and counting, partnering with global stores to help them reach zero waste along the way.

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The success of the OLIO app is a tale of two women from different backgrounds, with the same dream, made for the benefit of everyone and our planet. For me, this is what it’s all about: ensuring that everyone is empowered to build a successful business that can benefit people around the globe.

 
 

So let me share more about some of my favorite tools and programs that we recently launched with this goal in mind.

Apps and games by everyone

Regardless of the size of your company, we want to make sure you have the insights and tools that enable you to make more informed decisions, and ultimately make it easy for you to build and improve your app or game business. Let’s take a look at privacy and security as an example, as this is a critical topic.

We have various tools and programs to help you build safe and secure experiences for everyone and protect your business, including the Play Integrity APIData Safety sectionPrivacy Sandbox on Android, and also the newly launched Google Play SDK Index.The index provides data and insights about more than 100 of the most widely used commercial SDKs. This can help you navigate third-party SDKs and align with Google Play policies, so that you make more informed decisions for your business and your users.

We also have programs designed for companies with various needs, from media companies building experiences across devices, to startups solving local problems in the first cohort of Appscale Academy in India. These 100 promising app innovators have already inspired us with their drive and creativity to build high-quality apps that serve and help people across India, and the world.

We’re also excited to continue investing in programs designed to help grow businesses both big and small. These include the Google Play Partner Program which launched in March and is designed to help larger games businesses reach their growth and performance goals. We also just opened submissions for the Indie Games Accelerator and Indie Games Festival programs. We were particularly inspired by the alumni of the 2021 edition, and you can hear directly from Jimjum Studios in Israel, who create games that encourage kindness, community building, and generosity, in the first episode of Google Play Coffee breaks:

Beyond the size of the company, apps and games are built and run by people. So we are continuously investing in programs to drive diversity in the ecosystem and empower the next generations of app and game makers. Programs like Change the Game and our investment in organizations driving positive change in the games industry are just a couple of the programs I’m particularly proud of.

Apps and games for everyone

We believe everyone should have easy access to great app and game experiences. This enables people to lead better lives, and it helps you grow your businesses.
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In order to help with this, we’ve made some updates that make it easier for everyone to access apps and games at a price that is right for them, which in turn helps you better monetise your apps or games. For example, you asked for more flexibility and less complexity in how you sell your subscriptions, so we launched new subscription capabilities. You can now create multiple base plans and offers for each subscription, all while significantly reducing the cost and complexity of managing an ever-increasing number of SKUs. Whether your aim is to better connect with people that are new to your business, or to retain your loyal users, you have the ability to create offers for everyone.

We’ve also invested in new tools that help people pay for your apps and games using the methods that suit them best, helping to improve your monetisation. Google Play Commerce provides buyer support in over 170 countries, and we’ve further increased access by adding to our payment method library, which now includes over 300 local payment methods in 70 countries. We also made changes to help you better adapt to local purchasing power by adding the option to lower prices, starting at the equivalent of 5 US cents in any market.

Serving people better doesn’t only mean adapting pricing, but also optimizing your apps and games for the devices they are using, so they can get the best experience. Whether it’s phones, wearables, tablets or TVs. We introduced new tools and resources to help you create better experiences on large screens and launched Google Play Games beta, to help you expand your game’s reach to PCs.

Celebrating you

I started by highlighting OLIO as a business that was brought into existence by newcomers to the apps space, and yet managed to have a positive impact across the world. This is only one of so many inspiring examples out there. We’ve just launched #WeArePlay, a new campaign that celebrates you, the global community of people behind apps and games, and your unique stories. It represents teams of all sizes — some founded by longtime coders and others by tech newcomers, some based in big cities and others in smaller towns. These are short stories that tell personal journeys of making apps or games that are solving a problem or bringing joy to people everywhere.

I look forward to watching you all continue to build amazing app and game experiences, grow your businesses, and enthrall your users. Here’s to you and your achievements – let’s continue to celebrate every step forward and each small win. That’s what makes us all grow.
Take care of yourselves and each other,

Sarah Karam

Director, Global Apps Partnerships, Google Play



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