June 13, 2024
Google pulls popular but controversial live video chat app Chamet from the Play Store

Google has removed popular but controversial live video chat app Chamet from the Play Store. The company confirmed the move to TechCrunch, saying that the app violated its user-generated content (UGC) policy.

The company didn’t provide a statement but pointed to its policy which says, “Apps whose primary purpose is featuring objectionable UGC will be removed from Google Play.” The app was pulled from the Play Store sometime last month.

Centered around live video streaming, Chamet provided an option to users to privately call the host of a stream with a payment. A report from the Economic Times suggests Chamet and other apps had many women streamers who were dancing to songs or just talking about their lives, which made them popular. Apart from video calls, users could also send gifts to these streamers through in-app payments.

Chamet tried to stray away from suggestive content by warning its users not to broadcast content related to “Pornography, violence, vulgarity, juveniles, and other related situations.” However, the app was full of suggestive content and ads.

Last month, YouTuber Caleb Friesen tweeted a long thread about Chamet’s sketchy ownership practices — starting with the company’s bare-bones website with little information.

Chamet was on the top charts in several Play Store categories as a top-grossing app. And there is data to back it up. Users in India spent more than $13.4 million on Chamet between January-July, according to the data shared with TechCrunch by analytics firm Data.ai. It added that people in India spent $15.4 million on Chamet last year, with lifetime spending totaling up to $38 million. The app garnered more than 26 million lifetime downloads in the country.

The firm’s data suggested that while Chamet was a top-grossing app, other apps in the live video chat category such as Azar, LiveU and Honeycam Chat have raked in millions. Overall, users in India spent more than $46 million last year on this category of apps — more than another high-spending category of dating, which saw an annual spend of $42.2 million.

Google didn’t specify if it plans to take similar action on other live video chat apps.

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