Google’s Chrome Web Store grows up with free trials and in-app payments

Google’s(s goog) Chrome as a platform strategy continues forward with the company announcing more free trial and in-app payment options for Chrome developers. Cloud hosted apps have had these for a while, but now packaged apps that run offline as well as themes and extensions can be monetized or provided as trial editions.

Google provided a table in the blog post announcing the changes, showing what monetization methods are available by type of content:

Chrome Web Store monetization

Now, all Chrome Web Store contents types save for Themes can be provided to users in a trial mode, allowing them to test out the digital goods prior to purchase. While Themes don’t allow for free trials, they can now be sold by developers through the Chrome Web Store. While it would be nice for them to be available in trial form, Themes can easily be shown off through images, so buyers generally know what they’re getting before they purchase.

Google has slowly been building up both Chrome and its Chrome OS as an alternative desktop platform. I explained this movement last May, noting that Chrome is a new back door to the app economy. The browser is among the most widely used and while not showing massive uptake, Chromebooks and Chromeboxes are still proving popular for certain types of users. This gives Google a foothold on every desktop to boost web engagement and gather more user data which it can then monetize through ads.

The idea behind this latest move is to attract more web developers to Chrome as a platform because it adds new monetization options for a relatively large audience.