Google has recently introduced some important changes in the official chrome extension gallery. I asked few questions to the Chrome team regarding these changes, and got satisfactory reply from Arne Roomann-Kurrik.
Q: What are the available payment options? Do the new developers need credit card / Google Checkout?? I’m a student, have no credit card, live in India and $5 is a big amount for me — how can you expect me to pay this fee??
A: The payment mechanism for the fee is Google Checkout. We understand that $5 USD can be significant for some developers, but we feel that this one-time cost compares favorably with fees charged by other developer platforms. You will also be able to continue to develop extensions and even host them on your own website for free- the $5 developer fee only applies to publishing an extension/app in the gallery.
A: We’ve purposely avoided having a pre-review process for the extensions gallery / Chrome Web Store.
Q: Don’t you think that the "official" extensions are going to kill independent developers?? A common user is generally much influenced by the tags like “Verified” or “Official”. As expected, a common user will never install or try unofficial extensions.
A: The verified author gives end users accurate information about the author of the extension. It will be up to individual sites to determine whether they want to compete with external developers on the basis of "official" extensions/apps. Speaking about things in general, when a popular site has a good API and a healthy developer ecosystem, third party apps seem to do pretty well even in the presence of "official" ones. For example, see Twitter and Seesmic, Tweetdeck, Brizzly, etc. Personally, if I were installing the Brizzly extension from the extensions gallery, I’d want to know it was really written by the Brizzly folks.
Also read: How Chrome Extension Gallery domain verification will help protect users (by @leemathews on Download Squad)