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Facebook audience network woes
Started by richard11 Nov 16 2019 09:18 AM

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#1

richard11

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richard11
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I'm not really looking for anything with this one, but I figured this might be relevant to some of you and that I should post something.

 

A couple of days ago I received emails from Google to say that both of our Android games had been removed from the play store for "inaccurate target audience information". Upon investigating, it turned out that under the developer console -> Store presence -> App content section, the questionnaire we'd previously completed had disappeared, so I clicked through to start this process again.

 

Our games are for all ages, but as soon as I clicked anything other than "18 and over", a message pops up about various requirements including "Only displaying ads that are from Google Play certified ad networks, or ads served by you, whenever your app is being used by a child".

 

The following link lists these "certified ad networks" and sure enough, Facebook Audience Network isn't one of them. https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/9283445

 

So in a nutshell, our apps have been removed because their target audience includes people under the age of 18 but we're using Facebook Audience Network to monetise them.

 

Today I then received further emails, this time from Facebook which has noticed the apps have disappeared from the store. "As per the Facebook Audience Network Policy 4.5, Audience Network is only available to apps offered in Apple iTunes or Google Play: "Audience Network is only available to apps offered in Apple iTunes or Google Play, unless you have our prior written approval." As a result, your app has now been suspended and we will not fill ad requests for the duration of the suspension."

 

To summarise. Google have removed our games because they use Facebooks ad network and target kids, and Facebook have suspended our ad network account because the apps are no longer offered by Google. All in the space of a couple of days, before I've had chance to even schedule time to look at reworking anything.

 

The point of this post is I suppose to warn others. I know FAN is a popular choice and given the natural target audience of any game, I expect I'm not the only person here who this has happened, or will happen to. Unless you're happy for your games to be labelled "unsafe for children" in the Play store, I'd advise swapping FAN out for one of the networks listed in the link above.

 

Personally, I'm just going to give up with ad revenue. We had more success with paid apps in the past, though admittedly never bothered to market either of the free Android games we'd published, and we'd still not gotten around to sorting out our US tax declaration stuff which both Applovin and FAN required us to do... as a UK developer this involves calling the IRS for a US tax number and going through a bunch of presumably complicated forms, and our accountants didn't want to get involved in any of this which emphasised to us the complexity it would involve. There's just no point in trying to continue with this approach in my mind, and nobody really likes adverts anyway, so moving forwards our game projects will revolve around IAP monetisation only.


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#2

Rob Miracle

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Rob Miracle
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We have updated just about everything that touches FAN and Facebook. 

 

FB changed to have a central core library that both FAN and Facebook both use. So this starts a whole new dependency setup for FB. Since Appodeal (both iOS and Android) use FAN, it was also being impacted. Then FB decided to include a library that conflicted with the Zip plugin.

 

Anyway, it should all be straightened out with bright new shiny plugins for all of them. See: 

 

https://forums.coronalabs.com/topic/75884-fan-plugin-sdk-too-old/#entry404460

 

to get the version numbers and everything that changed.

 

Rob



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#3

richard11

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richard11
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Thanks Rob.

I'm not sure that our issues are related to anything programmatic though, unless the new plugins do some kind of age verification magic?

I think for us, it comes down to the fact that Google just don't include Facebook within their list of 'approved ad networks'. The apps were listed as safe for all age groups and one of the requirements for that seems to be to use a network from that list you see.

I should probably look into all of this again with a fresh head at some point. Unfortunately we've just too many client deadlines at the moment to warrant my spending any time on internal projects any time soon 😞

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#4

Rob Miracle

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We can't control what Google includes unfortunately. But I was just sharing that we updated a bunch of FB libraries, in case it's triggering something.

 

Rob




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