Google has permanently stopped allowing the publication of new paid extensions for its Chrome browser, and the company has announced that all existing extensions will have to stop charging in 2021.
As the company has reported on its website for developers, the official software platform for the browser, Chrome Web Store, has published its roadmap to make payments “obsolete”, both for buying extensions and for payments within the ‘app ‘.
Chrome had already disabled the publication of new payment extensions in March of this year, as a temporary decision due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Since this Monday, Google has made this measure permanent.
As a next step, the Chrome Web Store will stop allowing existing paid extensions to make use of free trial periods as of December 1 of this year.
Later, Google has announced that as of February 1, 2021, the extensions present in the Chrome Web Store will not be able to charge their users through their payment mechanisms, although they will be able to process information related to previous payments, such as subscriptions that are still active.
Finally, Google plans to completely disable from its API for Chrome the ability to differentiate between paid clients and free clients, something that will take place in the future, starting in July 2021.
Google has recommended developers of payment extensions for Chrome to migrate their ‘software’ to another of the existing mechanisms to monetize them. In cases where extensions decide to migrate to external payment systems, they must have the approval of users, according to the Mountain View company.