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Chrome Web Store Payments Deprecation

September 21, 2020 · 5 min read

Back on March 27, 2020, Google announced that publishing paid items has been temporarily disabled in the Web Store. Following that, today they announced that it was permanent and Chrome Web Store payments have been deprecated entirely and will be completely shut down over the coming months. The reasoning for the shutdown is that the payment ecosystem has changed considerably since the Web Store was initially released and that there are numerous options to easily deal with payments today.

If you do not use Web Store payments, this news doesn't have any impact on you nor does it require any action on your end. On the other hand, if you either charge for your extension or have in-app purchases through Web Store payments, this will require some migration. Currently, there are 3 categories of monetization that will be impacted by these changes:

  1. If you're charging for your extension via the developer dashboard
  2. If you use InAppProducts, UserLicenses, or Payments from the Chrome Web Store API
  3. If you use various google.payments.inapp helper methods provided by buy.js.

Timeline

Google has provided the following graphic outlining the timeline for the shutdown:

Shutdown Timeline

As you'll notice in the timeline, other than today, when the new item ban became permanent, the next deprecation is the disabling of free trials on December 1, 2020, followed by all payments being disabled on February 1, 2021.

It's important to note that even after February 1, 2021, you will still be able to retrieve license information from previous purchases and subscriptions, at least for a little while. It's currently unclear when they will completely disable the Licensing API, but it appears to be at least after July 2021 based on the graphic. With that said, it's probably worth getting ahead of the game and working on a migration as soon as possible as they also outline how to export user licenses easily.

Next Steps

In terms of next steps, this will vary considerably based on how you currently monetize your extension. For example, if you currently have a one-time charge for your application, you can look into services like Gumroad to sell licenses (or API keys, for example) or just build your own with Stripe. Similarly, if you currently use Web Store payments for subscriptions or in-app purchases, that could also be ported over to Stripe or another payment provider.

If you're unsure where to start, I will write a series of blog posts on step-by-step ways to monetize your extension and connect to services like Stripe or Gumroad over the next little while.

As always, I hope this helps and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out on Twitter.

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Ryan Fitzgerald

About The Author

Hey! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald and I'm a full-stack developer based out of Toronto, Canada.

I have been building, publishing, and growing a variety of Chrome Extensions both professionally and for personal projects for over 5 years.