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Aarogya Setu

Google tweaks its ad policy to enable Aarogya Setu’s promotion by third-party apps

Aarogya Setu

Google has now reportedly made changes in its ad policy soon after removing Mobikwik from its Play Store. The digital payments app was removed by Google from its download store for allegedly violating its ‘Deceptive Ads’ policy by having a link to the Aarogya Setu app. 

To recall, Google doesn’t allow apps that contain deceptive or disruptive ads and those that aren’t clearly labelled. 

While the Mobikwik app was soon restored and made available for download, Google has now stated that apps containing links to external sites or other apps should be correctly labelled as an ‘ad.’

According to a CNBC TV-18 report, Google has decided to create a new label, which will require having an icon depicting an external link. Importantly, we couldn’t see any changes in the policy for deceptive ads. It may take a few days to reflect.

Entrackr has sent queries to Google over its new ad policy. We’ll update the post as and when it responds.

Paytm and Mobikwik have been promoting the contact tracing app Aarogya Setu on their platform citing a public health interest. While it appears like Paytm has started showing Aarogya Setu app in its ad section, Mobikwik has temporarily stopped promoting the Covid-19 tracing app on its platform.

MobiKwik has confirmed this to Entrackr. “Our app has made a comeback after we stopped the promotion of Aarogya Setu. We have requested Google to allow us to resume the promotion of the government-promoted application. The company will begin doing it as soon as we receive a nod from Google,” said Bipin Preet Singh, co-founder of MobiKwik.

Paytm declined to comment on the matter.

Since its launch in April, the government has been promoting the Aarogya Setu app to the extent of even making it mandatory for many services. Till date, the app has amassed over 116 million downloads. Recently, Aarogya Setu was made open source to counter the rising privacy issues around the app.

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