Earlier today, we were tipped about this thread in the Chromium Google Groups area. Gregor Hochmuth, the Product Manager for the Chrome Web Store, responded to a question wondering if Google would be giving developers advanced notice before the store goes live. Hochmuth said that yes, there would be reminders sent out before the launch to let developers get edits and updates in before it rolls live. Well, the first such message was sent out today.
Specifically, Google is starting to notify current Chrome extension developers about the upcoming Chrome Web Store launch. The reason is that extensions (and themes) will be wrapped into the Web Store alongside apps. In the email, Google will only say that the store is launching “later this year”, but this email seems to be the first indications that it’s coming sooner rather than later.
Another good indicator? Google traditionally had done code lock-downs for the holidays. This essentially means no new launches once everyone breaks in the next few weeks. And all indications are that this will happen again. Google appears to be gearing up for the launch of quite a few things before this break. And one of them will almost for sure be the Chrome Web Store.
Below, find the email that Google has sent out to developers to notify them about an impending change. (Note the sloppy numbering of the steps too.)
Thank you for developing for Google Chrome. These last few months, our team has been hard at work, preparing for the Chrome Web Store launch later this year. Extensions and themes for Google Chrome will be part of this new store. With this email we wanted to inform you of some upcoming developments and changes in the extensions gallery and how you can best prepare the items you have listed in the gallery for the upcoming launch.
- We have updated our guidelines for extension and theme creative assets: We recommend you to produce all the creative materials described in our docs. These are currently available only to apps developers but the same guidelines will apply to all items listed in the store once we launch. So, if you get these prepared now, you are going to be ready when the store launches. For those of you with complex extensions, we also highly recommend investing some time in preparing videos and slideshows, describing how your extensions work.
- Double-check our branding policies: If you are using Google trademarks and brand names to describe your items, please take a moment to re-read our branding policies to help you avoid common mistakes.
- Verify your listed items using Google’s Webmaster Tools: This new feature allows you to associate your website with the items you have posted in the store. This will make users more comfortable trying them out. Access this feature at the developer dashboard.
- Set up your Google Checkout merchant account and associate it with your developer account: If you arelocated in the US and want to sell apps and eventually extensions or themes through the store, you’ll need to register for a Google Checkout merchant account. You can find more information on this new help article.
- Make your extensions more discoverable: We will be launching a robust system of extensions categories in the gallery. You now have the option to classify your extension in up to three of these categories through the developer dashboard. This will help your extension be discovered by users who will be browsing the pages for each category.
Thank you again for making Google Chrome a better browser.
The Google Chrome Extensions team
Note the part where the Chrome Web Store will feature “a robust system of extensions categories”.
[thanks Adam and Jonah]