Several years ago, the Google Play Top Developer program was launched to recognize the hard work of Android app developers and highlight their apps in the Play Store to draw user attention. Now, this program seems to be coming to an unfortunate end as emails about its closure are being sent out to Android developers.

Under this long-running program, developers whose apps were recognizedd as innovative, fun or top quality were not only awarded the top developer badge. But, Google Play Store users would see a miniature blue arrow badge/icon alongside app listings as well. The email mentions that the said method has now become redundant and saturated.

Over time, the quality of app development has clearly increased by tangible lengths and the bar which had been set to recognize these developers has also moved way beyond the initial point. This means the recognition which was once regarded as a sign of prestige has lost its charm — and users also turn a blind eye to the same. With an increase in the total number of Top developers, the recognition once attached to the badge has diluted, thus, we are bidding adieu to the program in the coming 30 days.

While Google has mentioned that it plans to phase out the existing ‘Top Developer’ badge from app listings in the Play Store, it hasn’t shed light on steps being taken to highlight new apps in the future. Instead of giving us something credible, the email asserts that the Google Play editorial team has some ‘exciting plans’ to highlight select apps and provide them recognition. This will most likely be the difference going forward, where apps worth noticing will be recognized in favor of the developer itself.

Currently, we can only hope for the tech giant to reveal more info on its plans for developer recognition at its upcoming I/O 2017 conference. Here’s the complete transcript of the email being sent out to developers:

The Google Play Top Developer program was created to recognize partners who developed top quality Android apps and games

Every day developers like you are hard at work creating apps and games on Android. Whether you’re updating an existing app or building something new, we’ve seen an incredible increase in the level of polish and quality in so many fun, entertaining, and useful apps. We want to make sure more people find the great experiences you are creating.

The Google Play Top Developer program launched many years ago to recognize developers who created high-quality Android apps and games. We conducted research, with both developers and consumers, and observed a clear value and preference for the recognition of individual apps and games, instead of entire organizations.

After taking a look at our existing app recognition programs, the Google Play editorial team has decided to focus its efforts on recognizing high quality and innovative apps and games. As a first step, we will be closing the Top Developer program and removing the badging from the Play Store within 30 days. We have exciting plans to recognize more of the great apps and games you create and will be sharing updates soon.

We thank you for your continued commitment to Android and Google Play.

Source: Android Police

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