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Hey Google ... Are you for serious now?

UPDATE(Nov 20th) It is back http://goo.gl/iniI9 lost 120K users :(

UPDATE(Sept 14th) Known problem for some users https://groups.google.com/a/chromium.org/d/msg/chromium-extensions/-/vb06Mr6wuCEJ 

So my Extended Share for Google+ has been removed without notice from the Chrome WebStore. It has been in the Gallery exactly 1 year and 3 months. It was the most popular external (not made by Google employees), for Google+. With over 120,000 users using it. It was Google+'s first Chrome Extension. I worked, and many other contributors (since it is Open Source'd on GitHub) really hard to allow you all extend the sharing compatibilities for Google+. I literally spent hours, days and nights maintaining it.

Why are they treating the developers this way? I already got too much drama with Chrome Extensions in the past, and then now without notice, they removed my extension from the gallery. They didn't "unpublish" it, they just "removed" it. if I was going to upload it again, I would have to start from scratch. This is ridiculous, this hasn't been the first time this has happened.

Here goes my work for nothing ...  Is this going to happen to my other 20 extensions? And people wonder why developers complain about how Google treats us.

Yes I am frustrated because you don't just remove an app that has been out there for over a year and three month just like that with absolutely no warning.

Developers, just be warned when using Google Apis and their Stores, you have no guarantee what is going to happen with them.
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103 comments
 
And especially so when there are so many users. They're actually causing inconvenience to all those users too!

I myself recommended that to many, including +Michael O'Reilly I remember, and he loved it in comparison to others.
 
It sounds like they just want to you to stop using logos or the name Google+. Can you give it a different name? Though it does seem odd given the name is really perhaps "Extended Share" and the "for Google+" is more descriptive.
 
"This may also result in the suspension of related Google services associated with your Google account." sounds very scary to me.
 
Couldn't they just have told you it's time to update the branding on it?

Why didn't you already do that as a precautionary measure?
 
What branding +Bobbi Jo Woods I used my own icon that has G+ on it that was used 15 months ago. I never changed anything on it.
 
"because you use their marks and icons" ? 
well, of course, it's a G+ extension! it makes their network better! they should pay you for that, and not blame you oO

doesn't it deserve a notification to our dear +Natalie Villalobos? i think it does...
 
Fuck. If you re-publish it with a diferent name (like Danny sugested), post it here and we will spread it all over the fucking world (and will install it, of course).
 
The "Google marks and icons" they are referring to...what do they mean, then?
 
I feel sry that Google behave like that, loved your extended share for google+.
 
+Danny Sullivan according to the terms last time, everyone was allowed to use "for Google Plus" at the end. That is how all the addons were being used. They explicitly had a check when you upload a name that we cannot place Google at the beginning of the title. There was nothing wrong for over 15 months for the name :(
 
The store says "An error occurred: Item not found. This item may have been removed by its author." So, it makes it look like he took it down. :/ I know if I click on it and then hit cancel I can share on Facebook/Twitter and add more in options. 
 
I assume they mean the old G+ black icon that is used as an Extended Share Icon in the options area?
 
There are several Chrome apps of yours I can't live with out. 
 
That is bad. I like google but that is bad. They need to take care of developers like you.
 
Make it different, and avoid their brand marks and styles... Republish it.. :-)
 
I did NOT remove it, they removed it on their own. And guess what, developers CANNOT host extensions out side Google! They are controlling us in every way.
 
+Mohamed Mansour oh, I know you didn't my point was they have that when you try to go to the app store old location :/
 
+Arnobie OOI I can't republish it, it has been removed completely.  if they didn't like my 15 month old icon, I could have placed a black logo.
 
+Bobbi Jo Woods the old G+ logo (first gen), and the name "Extended Share for Google+ " Which was the same thing I used for 15 months.
 
Ah.  They should have just asked you to update your extension stuff then.
 
Useful extensions suddenly vanishing renders Chrome less valuable for me. 
 
I'm sure Google will let it back with updated icons it seems mad not to and Google are not like Apple now are they? :-)
 
That's so Sad +Mohamed Mansour, I know Google is very strict in terms of their "Policy" specially their unified policy... Try to appeal, they have a back-up for that... Review their policy again, and make an appeal.. I am sure, if it is a minor offence, they will restore it..
 
There are plenty of ways that Google should compete harder with Apple, but "treating developers like garbage" is not one of them. I'm sorry to hear that you were treated like this, especially given how early you were onboard with G+ and how much you did to explain/popularize it.
 
+Mohamed Mansour I wonder if this is really more to do with getting folks to now utilize Hootsuite since they have a relationship now with Google? Sorry that your hard work has been mistreated this way.
 
urg bad news :( This is what to expect from google now ?
sorry I think i'll stick to user centric not corp centric software....
 
reshared, hope you dont mind, if you do, say ill remove it, but many love and sing about google, and don't understand that google is not their friend.
 
This is ridiculous on +Google part. This isn't the way such firm should treat developers like that. An explanation would have been appreciated before removing it, or at least warning.

+Vic Gundotra 
 
Beh, I give up. I am not going to deal with any Web Store anymore.
 
+Zack Jenkins well yelling gets no resolution, I already emailed them as that screen shot stated, no response. This must have been a mistake, I hope they will restore my extension id, I worked really hard maintaining useful extensions and starting from scratch multiple makes me unmotivated. With Firefox extensions, they warn you if a complaint has been made, but with Chrome, they just delete it without warning.
 
Are Google making space for their own extension?
 
I love the default error message on the Web Store: "Item not found. This item may have been removed by its author."

Is there any chance you can package and self-distribute your wonderful extensions Mohamed? (even though they're all on Github and could be easily self-packaged, just thinking for those out there who are not technically minded).
 
+Mohamed Mansour  I've emailed some folks who might be able to help. I do appreciate that we have branding guidelines that have to be followed, but we'll do our best to assist here. Sorry your extension was taken down! 
 
In other news, tricking consumers into thinking that your app is an official google app is not cool. I'm glad Google is cracking down, there is way too much shit out there.

I'm sorry that your app got roped into all the other ones that try and manipulate users into thinking they are really from google. But you kinda did this to yourself. Sounds like somebody doesn't understand trademarks.

I think this email is rather nice. It looks like they are giving you a chance to change your app.


If you didin't know, Google is cracking down on all types of malicious apps. It was the main impetus for requiring that apps be installed from the webstore, or via a manual download.

Masquerading as Google in a deceptive way (albeit, unintentionally in your case), is one of the easiest was to tell if an app may be trying to be malicious.
http://www.geek.com/articles/news/google-cracks-down-on-malicious-chrome-extensions-20120716/

You'd think differently if you were stung by one of these bad apps.  I've had to clean up quite a few in my last IT job, and even my mom got one that did some damage.
 
Maybe baking them a cake will help? Although I'm sure you don't feel like baking them a cake...
 
+Nicholas Perry I can't change it, it would have been nice if I could, I have to upload a brand new one to the gallery.
 
Google has become far too big way to fast and acts as though they are innocent in so many things when in all actually they simply do not put enough effort into dealing with what the people care about. They used to be such a breath of fresh air and now they are just a machine.
 
+Nicholas Perry The idea that an extension made for use with a specific site shouldn't mention the site seems rather odd. It wasn't tricking anyone into thinking it was made by Google in any way.
 
Removing is bad behavior. It would've been better to have notified you prior, but barring that, unpublishing it so you could still see it in the developer dashboard would've at least been courteous. They may not have proper flags or blocks to stop the re-publish something that's been deemed violating content guidelines, but removing the app from even a private view is rough.

I have an extension that is labeled "TAKEN DOWN" but is still visible in my private dashboard (it was taken down because of a content violation - I created an app for a company, but published under my own account until the company got its act together and published their own). That's the proper behavior - it's unpublished but still in my developer dashboard.
 
+Nicholas Perry ...the real problem here is how Google treat their developers. They should a least issue a "warning" explaining the problem they have to comply with. Then if the developer don't fix it within a specific time frame take the app down. But removing it after 15 months in web store without warning is just an arrogant. If +Google  believe the app isn't comply with their policy, they should not approve it to be published in app store in the first place as Apple does. I must admit, Apple does a better job in handling this kind of issues.

If we argue that Google have to review hundred of apps every day, so they don't have time to communicate with the developers then they shouldn't release their product if they don't have enough resources to support it. Google needs more people like +Addy Osmani who stand for developer. I believe +Vic Gundotra will do the same  (finger crossed) 

Google needs G+ to extend their search capabilities, but G+ will not be able to success without developers support. if FB and Amazon improve their search capabilities, google will be the next Altavista or Yahoo in the next couple years. 

There is a story since last year that Google team hates +Mohamed Mansour  because they believe he reverse engineered and tapping google code to create his apps. It could be true (I don't know for sure), but in the business, instead of being emotional and threat him personally they should just offer him job at google not by treating his work this way. Off-course Google can find thousand reasons to justify their action but if they don't treat developer well, it's most likely they will do the same to their customers. 

This issue could be a tiny issue for Google to deal with, but if they don't take it seriously, it will be a deadly cancer for their business....
 
+Mohamed Mansour add a "™" after "Google+" in the extension's name, I believe that's the violation that triggered this removal.

I hope this isn't part of a larger move against Google+ extensions...
 
What you give is what you get!! May be google started reading your post about bing!!! The search comback!! that will gobble them up!!! ah ah
 
:(  It's my favorite extension too!
 
that sucks.  (understatement)
 
Guys on Google don't undrestand a little respect ...
When a developer is marked as trusted, it means there must be more respect for him
 
Keep up the good work +Mohamed Mansour I look forward to your work and I use most of your extensions. They make this place easier/more efficient to work with.

(I remember the hangout api "ddos" issue way back when...)
 
With +Addy Osmani knowing the issue and +Om Malik highlighting it to +Vic Gundotra on Twitter, I am sure this would be sorted out soon....there is no doubt Google has great respect for developers which is amply evident from Google IO events....yes ofcourse its a big and complex world whr an incident or 2 keep happening but i am sure they are the exceptions and not the rules :)
 
We disagree on this +Mohamed Mansour ... but there is a reason there is no official full API yet. There is no official supported community developers for Google+ doing the level of items you are doing with these apps... Yours is OUTSIDE the API. They make that very clear. Each thing you spent time coding was "at your own discretion". You knew the risks before spending 'hours, nights and days" coding things. 

I find it very bad taste that you make posts like this when you know full well what you were getting into BEFORE starting and developing the aps. Trying to imply "Google hates you" or "bad on google for treatment of their developers". You know better.

+Nicholas Perry gives you very logical reasons why your app was removed... and I for one agree. Many look like official apps, and although you are an ethical developer, many out there are not, Do a search and see. 
 
+Amanda Blain this is an extension. Doesn't use any API or unofficial API. Just a extension using Content Scripts. Your basis implies that we should NEVER create Google Chrome Extensions that uses Google products.

You clearly don't understand the whole story. Before, they didn't block the extension, they just modified their website which they have the total right to. I was just bothered that they didn't create a transition period like how Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/etc have done for a radical change.

This time, they removed this extension from the Gallery without warning me first. The reason why they removed it is mostly because I used the name "for Google Plus" at the end of the title, which I have been doing for all my extensions for over 1 year. They should have "unpublished" the extension, not "remove" it.

This has nothing to do with Unofficial/Official APIs.
 
+Nicholas Perry Google solved that issue a year+ ago when they implemented Verified accounts on the Google Web Store. Every developer must pay $5 to get into the Web Store, plus, you have to verify a website through their web verification. When you download an extension, it clearly says on top "by Google" or in my case "by Mohamed Mansour" since my site is verified. Plus, when you upload an extension, it says you cannot use the word Google in the title unless you use "for Google" at the end. Every extension developer did that, do a quick search. So I have followed everything they have done. I have been building extensions since day 1, right when the first commit went into the Chromium source code.
 
Sure, but I still find it poor taste each of these posts you do which imply you have been given some horrible treatment and you deserved different. Everyone coding these extensions knows the risks involved, site changes that can happen .. thats where Gplus currently IS with development community to my understanding.  I am not sure why you feel you deserve a personal email notice, warning or something else when no one else gets one.

I may be way off here... Is there an official Googleplus developers directory for chrome hacks to their website for gplus? A private group? An email list to notify of changes?  

If so, then I see your point more, but my understanding is its "not there yet" and everything is "at your own risk".
 
What risks are you talking about +Amanda Blain ? What did I do wrong for this extension?

It is like saying, your supporting censorship of extensions. Where they have the right to remove any extension from their app store if they don't want it. or like it, even if there is a huge crowd (120K+) that do like it. I don't believe Google would do that. I hope not ... If they are, then Developers should be extra careful creating stuff for the Google App Store using Extensions. I did this as a hobby, imagine someone does this for a living.
 
No.. Risk of coding something that is freely going to be changing at any point in time without notice or warning to developers who may make extensions. "Code things for Gplus at your own risk if you are out of the official released API"

As I said, I might be off on all this and there is a huge development and support community at the levels of  Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn/Other Google Products... But my understanding is it doesn't exist yet?
 
I originally wanted to use chrome it looked so clean and perfect with my gmail but in the end i just couldn't trust it enough it tries to hide history data with is annoying to go though i process just to delete to cut down o the lag i love Google+ but some times they do really stupid things with make me think again Facebook or Google +.
 
<3 you still ... sorry its been blah... :) Rock on.
 
I don't know what is happening out there, I have written some extenssions for myself without being published in Web Store and of course all of them breaks the rules! for example one of them I use to download videos from Youtube. I am checking them now and I see that none is working anymore :(
 
+Amanda Blain I think you are talking at cross purposes. What happened doesn't involve an extension no longer working because a change was made to the site. That's surely a known risk. The extension still works right now if you had previously installed it. The problem is instead that the extension was removed from the chrome web store entirely without giving the extension author any chance to fix what was wrong with it. Someone or some program at google apparently felt it was misleadingly representing itself as an official google extension. I thought it was pretty clearly the work of an individual and not google, but they should allow the author even a little notice to fix what they found objectionable about it.
 
Quick +Robert Dailey ? He had his app taken down without notice. And we're talking about an app extending Google+ capabilities (missing spots filled). No playing here.
 
+Robert Dailey , First let us see if they are going to fix this or not! Even if this is only a technical issue, Google must get blamed!
 
Ugh I loved this extension! Sorry this has happened! I hope they put it back up!
 
Missed this plus posting, sucks that it was pulled out..
 
+Mohamed Mansour At least you can rest easy that it has nothing to do with the fact that you work at Microsoft. ;-)
 
Is there a color(s) you seek? Shape? Symbol? Do want it to be not googlish to avoid their drama? Hehe
 
+James Kasper not really, yea non Googlish since they clearly don't like that since it has become really popular.  Be creative :) I will obviously credit!
 
Is there any other way to get your plugin?  Seems to do what google+ should have!
 
+Heinrich Volschenk If you're currently using it, it's been added to your Chrome Installation. So long as you don't need to re-install it, you're ok.
 
PLEASE READ
If someone have it installed please please send it to me or upload to website. If you don't know how to find it.. 

1.  Open C:/ Drive, click on address bar erase whole line and type....
%localappdata% and press Enter....
2. Go to Local > Google > Chrome > User Data > Default > Extensions.
3. You will see many folders with strange name, for finding that extension, open all folders one by one, you can easily find right folder by looking at images it will contain icon of extension.
4. Copy whole folder and please please upload it to some website or send me email and I will download that file (and probably upload it.)
Thanks for reading and please do it if you have it...
 
come on  yaar, anyone have it? 
 
Just finished, uploaded it to the Web Store, lets hope it gets approved!
 
Dude, you're making things for something without an official API. You run this risk every time you make something. It's awesome you jump the gun and do things so quickly +Mohamed Mansour, but there's no policy protecting what you create that's outside supported development. The point is that you broke the rules. We've talked about this before, and it sucks, but that's the way things go when a product is developing as quickly as G+ is.
 
+Carter Gibson this was nothing to do with the API, It has to do with the branding. I used the old fan created Google+ Logo and Google wanted me to change it.
 
So you broke a policy? Exactly :) Sucks, and I really do love what you do, but people gotta follow the rules 
 
+Carter Gibson no policy broken. They changed ToS like last month, and I used a Fan Made logo of Google+ with permission. It doesn't look like the Google+ logo, but Google thought (I am just throwing words now), it will confuse users. So instead of telling me to change the logo, they just removed it completely from the web store. That resulted in 120K less users. They need better community managers to communicate to their developers :(
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