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Google Play Store Reviews Taking Longer Due to Coronavirus

Mar 27, 2020
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Google has made an announcement to Android app developers that it’s going to take longer to get apps reviewed due to the coronavirus. The reviews could now take more than a week due to the moderation slowdown, and this could hurt the app development business quite a bit. If you’ve checked out the Google Play Console, then you might’ve received the alert from Google about this change. Keep reading to learn all about it and what it could mean for all app developers.

Google Play Store Reviews Slowed Down as Coronavirus Spreads

If you’re an Android app developer then you might want to check out the latest announcement from Google. Google has just announced that Google Play Store app reviews are going to take much longer due to the coronavirus. You should now expect that the app review process will take over a week to complete since moderation efforts are slowed down by the coronavirus. Even Google is being slowed down by the coronavirus, and it’s going to impact moderation quite a bit.

You’ve likely heard by now that YouTube is also slowing down in terms of moderation thanks to the coronavirus. YouTube is going to be using a more automated system to moderate videos as opposed to the human moderation that occurs alongside the machine-learning component. Since YouTube is relying on the automated process almost exclusively, it means that videos are going to get flagged at a higher rate.

We likely are going to see videos taken down that might not actually be violating any rules or guidelines due to this change. Certain tags and words are going to lead to the machine-learning to remove the video even if the video itself is suitable for YouTube.

We’re pretty sure that this change is going to create a lot of other issues, but right now we just have to deal with it since human moderation is becoming less of an option. It’s unknown right now whether Google Play Store is going to move to a more machine-learning approval process like YouTube is doing. If it does happen, you can expect apps to be removed, accepted, or wrongly denied on the Google Play Store as well.

Staffing Issues are Behind Slow Down Google Play Store App Reviews

When it comes to the Google Play Store, the issue is the same as it is with YouTube moderation, which is the lack of staff to moderate at the same level. The in-office staff has been reduced due to coronavirus, which is something a lot of businesses are dealing with right now. Coronavirus is impacting how many people are going to be in the office on any given day. The reduction of humans in the office means a slower review time for apps waiting for approval on the Google Play Store.

This might actually be a good thing for Google though, especially since before the app review process was really quick. The quickness of Google Play Store app reviews led to a lot of apps going onto the Play Store that was low-quality and pretty horrible overall.

Even malicious apps were able to make it onto the Google Play Store with the human moderation team. Apps could have still taken three-days to get onto Google Play Store but app developers in good standing with Google were pushed to the front of the line and got their app approved much quicker.

Are You an App Developer Concerned About Slowdown of Play Store Reviews?

It taking a week or more to get an app approved on Google Play Store is new and unprecedented, but that is something we’re getting used to with our current situation. There are many unprecedented situations happening right now. It’s important to remember that everyone is flying by the seat of their pants so to speak. We’re all trying to figure out how to navigate this pandemic, so we need to be patient in all aspects of our lives.

We know that people are being impacted in many ways due to coronavirus, from the vendors to app developers to the consumer. We want to know if you’re an app developer for Android and if you’re concerned with the review slowdown times. What is the average amount of time you waited to get your app reviewed for Google Play Store? Do you think less human moderation is going to negatively impact the YouTube community? Are you worried that the slowdown of app reviews on Google Play Store will hurt your business? Do you think that the coronavirus situation is being overblown?