Changes in Chrome Web Store categories system

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

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When we launched the Chrome Web Store a year ago, our app taxonomy system reflected the apps that were available in the store at the time. However, since then, the store’s app inventory has grown and changed in composition. So, yesterday we made important changes in the Chrome Web Store’s app category system to allow more great apps of all kinds to stand out.

Until now, you could list your app into two categories. With the new category structure, we will show your app only in the primary category that you select for your app in the developer dashboard. We've found that secondary app categories contributed to a confusing experience for Chrome users and developers so from now on, we're going to start ignoring the secondary category.

We also updated the list of top level app categories and created multiple sub categories in each of them.

More specifically, given the growing use of Chrome and Chromebooks in large and small businesses, we created a new category called “Business Tools” that can help enterprise focused developers target these users. Also, “Shopping” has been reclassified as a subcategory, within the “Lifestyle” category.

The new structure of the store will improve discoverability for apps. For example, users searching for a photo album app can now easily drill down to the “Photos” subcategory level and track down the app they are looking for. At the same time, apps assigned to a subcategory show up in the category page as well giving them wider exposure; an app in "Photos" will appear on both the "Photos" page and the "Entertainment" page.

The categories will continue to evolve over time. To that effect, in the Developer Dashboard you will see a few more subcategory options than the ones that are live in the Chrome Web Store today. We plan to expose these subcategories to users once we confirm we have enough interesting apps in each one of them. In the meantime, items assigned to these subcategories will show up at a related subcategory. For example all items on “Online Documents & File Storage” will show up for now in “Office Tools”.

This transition required our team to take a stab at automatically assigning all apps to one of our new categories / subcategories. Please take a look at the developer dashboard and make sure the placement of your app accurately reflects your business goals and the experience you offer.

Learn more about these category changes on our developer site. If you have any questions about these changes, please don't hesitate to post to our developer forum.

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