Should I Make My App Free?

More and more developers are switching to the freemium model. While paid apps may work for some, they aren’t always quite as profitable. Premium paid apps require users to pay for the app upfront before they use it. If the developer isn’t well-known or there aren’t a lot of reviews, this poses to be a pretty big risk for the consumer. Paid apps also limit the audience as most users will search for a free version before resorting to a paid app. People love free stuff, and it’s hard to ignore this fact.

Not only is it possible to gain more downloads, but making an app free also gains more exposure. Getting your name or company out there can make a big difference. This means consumers and reviewers are more likely to trust and respect your future apps.

The main concern with making an app free is monetizing it. There’s two ways that this can be achieved, but you’ll have to figure out which one works best for you.

In-app advertising are pop-up ads that can affect a user’s experience. Some developers opt to have a free app with in-app advertising along with a paid app, which proves to work well for them. You’ll want to consider some criteria first like real estate room for ad placement and app usage. If you don’t have two versions, consider an in-app purchase to remove the ads.

In-app purchases are also tricky because some developers use them as bait. The key is to add IAPs that aren’t required to beat the game. In-app purchases should be similar to cheats where they let users buy upgrades and additional products within the app, but don’t force gamers to resort to them in able to fully enjoy the app.

Another factor to consider is reviews. Making your app free may encourage users to leave reviews, which is great if you don’t have many or any at all. Be sure to encourage users to leave feedback so that you can continue to update and improve your app.

In my opinion, consumers are going to start seeing more free apps available in the App Store. Making an app free not only reaches more users, but it also helps earn the trust of the app and developer. Once trust and professionalism are established, then it’s time to start focusing on premium paid apps. If you aren’t sure if free is the way to go, try making your app free for one or two days to see how many downloads you’ll achieve. You can always change the price back later.

What do you think? Should developers make their apps free or paid?

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