June 12th, 2018
We strive to ensure choice and transparency for all Chrome users as they browse the web. Part of this choice is the ability to use the hundreds of thousands of extensions available in the Chrome Web Store to customize the browsing experience in useful and productivity-boosting ways. However, we continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly — and the majority of these complaints are attributed to confusing or deceptive uses of inline installation on websites. As we’ve attempted to address this problem over the past few years, we’ve learned that the information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension. When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation.
Later this summer, the inline installation will be retired on all platforms. Going forward, users will only be able to install extensions from within the Chrome Web Store, where they can view all information about an extension’s functionality prior to installing.
This change will roll out in three phases:
- Starting today, inline installation will be unavailable to all newly published extensions. Extensions first published on June 12, 2018 or later that attempt to call the chrome.webstore.install() function will automatically redirect the user to the Chrome Web Store in a new tab to complete the installation.
- Starting September 12, 2018, inline installation will be disabled for existing extensions, and users will be automatically redirected to the Chrome Web Store to complete the installation.
- In early December 2018, the inline install API method will be removed from Chrome 71.
If you distribute an extension using inline installation, you will need to update install buttons on your website to link to your extension’s Chrome Web Store page prior to the stable release of Chrome 71. And if you haven’t already, be sure to read up on how to create a high quality store listing, and consider using our install badge on your site.
We’re proud of the choices the Chrome Web Store provides users in enhancing their browsing experience. At the same time, it’s crucial that users have robust information about extensions prior to installation so that they fully understand how their browsing experience will be impacted. We’re confident this change will improve transparency for all users about their extension choices in Chrome.
Posted by James Wagner, Extensions Platform Product Manager