The total number of apps in the Play Store has dropped dramatically for the first time since 2018. Over the past two quarters, the store owner has removed about 115,000 apps, the largest purge in three years.
According to statistics from SafeBettingSites, citing various sources, including Google itself, 58,000 applications were removed from January to April, and another 65,000 disappeared from the store in May alone. Now 2.8 million applications remain – in September 2020, there were about 3 million. For comparison, in 2018, out of 3.6 million apps, only 2.8 million were saved.
The reason for the recent removals is a wide range of new rules that Google promulgated by the end of April aimed at blocking apps with misleading names and images. For example, developers are now prohibited from including “advertising” statements in software names, and the names themselves should not be longer than 30 characters.
Controlling the quality of app titles in the Play Store has been a long-standing and seemingly insurmountable task. Even the updated rules do not directly prohibit developers from releasing low-quality clones of popular applications or even truly “fake” programs that do not work. The latter can be complained about, but the relatively easy money that cybercriminals receive with their help ensure the rapid emergence of new applications instead of deleted ones.
According to reports, 56.2 billion downloads were made from the Google Play Store in the first half, a 6% increase over the same period last year. The company’s related revenues rose 30% to $ 23.4 billion, according to Sensor Tower. At the same time, Google is noticeably lagging behind Apple. The latter is known to have earned $ 41.5 billion in the first half of the year thanks to the App Store, even though it has far fewer apps.