Your Data – a new revenue stream

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 18-09-2014 | Comments 0

Behind eCommerce’s social and omni channel evolution lie APIs.

Big companies who have been in the mobile app & web business since the start have gained invaluable experience over the past 8 years. They have engaged millions of people with quality apps, games and services, they have monetized through all app and web-related business models and have learned how users think and feel, how often they use services, what kinds of app users are there and how to get the most out of everyone. This data can be used in numerous ways, but the way to create an extra revenue stream is actually making this data available through application programming interfaces(APIs) which enables third-party app developers to leverage a company’s aggregated data or selected services (facebook).

However, all big organizations don’t act the same. Some of them use APIs for their own purposes. But if you’re not one of those companies then you should know that your data can be used in more than 20 ways:

 

  • Pay per use: A company makes its transactional data available to third party apps that (for example) compare prices or analyze customer behavior.

  • Subscription: Fees accrue during a subscription period rather than per use

  • Resource-usage & Revenue-sharing: This model generates sales of a company’s own products from which the app developer too gets a cut.

See the remaining API business models deconstructed here:

http://www.getelastic.com/20-api-business-models-deconstructed/

The role of APIs as an additional revenue stream will expand, however it is essential for companies to make a clear distinction between their data and their responsibilities as stewards of the customer’s private data.
Read more:

http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/monetizing_mobile_apps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/API

5 app monetization mistakes that developers make

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 16-09-2014 | Comments 0

The mobile industry is advancing with the speed of light setting profit records for device manufacturers, OS suppliers and for a time – app developers. We say “for a time” because earning from apps becomes more of a struggle lately. Although there is a lot to read about “app monetization” around the web (and on this blog too), developers make some mistakes even before they publish their apps. Here are some of them:

 

  • Not even thinking about monetization- Instead of focusing on at least one business model, developers strive to get noticed and tend to draw attention to their apps. This is a good start, but popularity will drop if a developer doesn’t work and improve the app continuously. Making a high quality product is important, but thinking on how to sell it is equally important.

 

  • Not in sync with current demand- blinded by success stories, companies wake up to learn that their app is targeting a category which cooled off long ago. Although it’s always hard to predict where the profits will be tomorrow, keeping fresh portfolios and following the activity on all app stores could help in future app targeting.

 

  • Untapped markets not targeted at all- New niches are opening up constantly and vigilant developers might be able to forge an opportunity out of any target demographic. Localization should not be underestimated.

 

  • Advertising mistakes turn out to be costly- Many small developers count on ads to break even, even when they don’t understand how the advertising industry works. There are many types of ads and they all need to be differentiated.

 

  1. External ads (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads etc.): here developers need to allocate a sufficient budget and follow results ensuring that more money is earned than the costs to run the ads. Only successful ads should continue to exist.

  2. Internal ads: In app advertisement space can be sold to the highest bidder. This area requires a lot of planning. Poorly integrated ads can spoil user experience and high levels of ad intrusion leads to app uninstalls.

 

  • Being platform-sensitive is a must – Every mobile platform is a separate universe and should be treated uniquely. Different hardware and software specifications offer various opportunities and it is equally dangerous to focus on one OS than on all. Being aware of major OS updates and being ready to quickly optimize and update should be essential for every developer.

 

If you did not end up finding yourself making one of these mistakes, you are on the right path. But even if you did, there’s always time to remedy this and you can start now.

Read more:

http://www.avocarrot.com/blog/5-reasons-developers-handle-app-monetization-properly/

Soc.io Review: Bounce Classic Deluxe Free

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 12-09-2014 | Comments 0

Ever had a game from your childhood that really left a big impression on you? Surely many come to mind and along come Nintendo, Amiga or 486 PC memories too. But how about on mobile? I remember how popular “Snake” was back in primary school. If you were a mobile gamer then you surely stumbled upon “Bounce” at some point found on a Nokia phone. It was a game where you bounced with an orange ball through loops avoiding obstacles. It had solid controls and a good physics engine for those days.

 

Judging by the many YouTube videos, there are still fans of this game and it was fans who actually did a remake (nothing official, just a fan project) for Android called “Bounce Classic Deluxe free”.

If you are one of those who missed that orange bowling ball you’re lucky because you still control it in Bounce Classic! Yes it’s still bounces(with a simple tap) but how you move has changed. Tilting the phone left or right now moves the ball in those directions which is somewhat awkward, also the ball bounce rate changes at times (don’t know if this is deliberate) enabling you to pick up and loose speed fast and make climbing stairs a nightmare. Overall the physics are not that bad if they were purposefully made to act goofy adding to the wacky feel of the game.

As you start, you quickly realize that gathering all “X” shaped forms in a level opens a portal to the next(you just need to touch the portal first). You have three lives which sometimes is far from enough. Especially when you start facing spikes. Spikes are static traps that are placed above and below you at certain parts of levels. Touch them and you are spawned back to the start, if a level is too long the game is forgiving enough to spawn you somewhere in the middle, but even if you collect all Xs, the portal might appear at level start (completely in the opposite direction) which will make you go back through all the traps once again even though you’ve finished your goal. Losing at this point can be really frustrating.

 

But losing is something really common in classic challenging games. So if you are a casual gamer Bounce Classic might offer more frustration than fun at times, but if you are the persistent type, you will find a highly rewarding feeling at the end of every single level.

 

So start bouncing now:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016285466

Rival Knights: “Buy to win” of “Skill to win” ?

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 11-09-2014 | Comments 0

Another great game stands tall among “Androids” proving that good graphics, sound effects, medieval music and fun gameplay can create a wonderful experience for players when perfectly combined!

Today we’ll dwell into Rival Knights by Gameloft talking about the in-app currencies, how they affect users and what Rival Knights did different.

Usually mobile and facebook games have two in-game currencies. One which you could earn just by playing (usually gold) and the other that requires real money to acquire(often diamonds). Diamonds make you play faster and unlock new parts in the game. They also enable players to buy specific in-game items. This might seem like a good thing, but creating unbalanced game boosters or game items (+500 sword) may transform the game into what is known as “Buy to Win”.

 

Creating a “buy to win” game always raises tension among players and a lot of complaints start piling up on forums as soon as someone exploits the in-game paid currency and buys the top position on leader-boards. Players who do this, spend a lot of money which is great for developers, but overall this ruins the whole experience for others. Popular games like ( Clash of Clans, Farmville 2, Hay Day, Temple Run…) usually give out free diamonds (if you like/follow them on social media or finish specific in-game tasks) which could make a game easier, but with the amount given (usually only 1 or 2 from tasks and a one time 10 from a social media follow) you can’t really do anything if you’re one of those non-spending player types.

 

The latest game from Gameloft “Rival Knights” (featuring knights in shining armor jousting) does something different in this “Pay to Win” field. It has limited number of play times that you could finish really quick, it has two currencies, it has slow upgrades (in late game) it has basically everything a pay to win machine has.

 

What makes it different though is that It gives a lot more diamonds to players.  From in-game quests to multiplayer modes, diamonds come fast for good players. You could spend them on better equipment or invest in tournaments in which you can earn big amounts of gold, special items and up to 40 diamonds if you win!

 

This doesn’t make Rival Knights by Gameloft a “Skill to Win” game, but it is a worthy mention for developers out there that try to create new monetization systems which are both revenue-friendly for them and fun for players at the same time. Giving away more paid-currency won’t make the game easier (on the long run) and won’t make players spend less. On the contrary, players who usually don’t pay just might reconsider their tactics with a forgiving business model trick such as this one.

 

Find out more:

http://www.gameloft.com/

Read another or our business model trick revealing articles:

http://blog.soc.io/news/spot-on-in-app-purchases/

Why go with an alternative app store

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 09-09-2014 | Comments 0

Alternative Android app stores have identities of their own and constantly do things to set themselves apart of all others. Many offer unique bonuses or perks that you can’t find on Google Play. Such as?

  1. Exposure -Your app will be seen by users after you publish it (which is not the case with Google Play if you don’t invest in marketing or really have a unique app that will swim up in the ocean of android apps) and you can back this up with cheap neverending promotion deals.

  2. Special Events -Fresh apps, discounts or “free app” days when premium apps are given for free (read our article “Your place on the shelf” to learn about categories and why it’s important to compete in them) and where newly uploaded apps shine.

  3. Curated App Lists -Specifically hand-picked app lists by certain criteria (quality, music, art, replayability, usefulness etc.) If your app find its way to one of these lists downloads will surely follow.

  4. Localization – Yes, there are stores who recommend your app to a specific country if it has been adapted culturally and has a language support.

  5. Monetization Limitations -Alternative app stores don’t follow Google Play’s rules about push notifications restriction or on-app advertising tactics. This gives developers a big advantage when it comes to monetization.

 

While Google Play is certainly the place where you’d love to see your app featured and get downloaded like crazy, for developers who want to maximize the exposure of their new and unknown apps (as well as make as much money as possible from them), these app stores are godsent.

Risks?

In the past many app sources weren’t verified and people were afraid to enable the “Download from Unknown Sources” option under their “Settings>Security” menu. Nowadays however awesome mobile security software is available for free (like AVG) and users worry less about malware. Alternative app stores have also been active for a long time and they get better and better with every passing year offering unique android experience for users and better monetization options for developers.

So don’t hesitate, upload your app now on our alternative app store Soc.io Mall.

Read more:

http://blog.soc.io/news/google-play-try-another-way/

http://www.airpush.com/understanding-3rd-party-android-app-stores/

Related article:

http://blog.soc.io/news/google-play-try-another-way/

Measure what needs to be measured!

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Tips and Tricks | Posted on 04-09-2014 | Comments 0

Not using analytics and not measuring the right engagement metrics is the biggest mistake an app developer can make. No matter which business model drives your revenue you must remember that everything is dependent on personalization and engagement.

The metrics are available but it can be tricky to find out which one of them is the most important to track the engagement.

 
We wanted to share with you the publication from Localytics “Eight Critical Metrics for Measuring App User Engagement”. An in-depth guide that covers engagement metrics, session length analysis, in app time and screenflow.
 
Get the free guide here: http://info.localytics.com/8-critical-app-engagement-metrics-adm
 

When done reading you should know about:

  • Which are the eight engagement metrics you should be measuring

  • How to create user baselines

  • The most up to date industry statistics around user behaviour and how they impact app performance

  • The five steps of running targeted marketing campaigns in five easy steps.

 

Read more:

http://appdevelopermagazine.com/1611/2014/6/30/How-to-Get-People-To-Use-Your-App,-and-Keep-em!/

http://www.localytics.com/resources/ebooks/

Best Soc.io Games of August 2014

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 02-09-2014 | Comments 0

August was another great month at Soc.io! Apps kept on coming and our team kept on play-testing and reviewing. We enjoyed playing some great word puzzles, running fast in endless runners and saving the world by solving math problems. Having a lot of awesome developers on our side always brings new wonders like cute bugs, unique gameplay ideas and marvelous art. Hard-working developers are our heroes! That’s why we go deep into every app, we advise developers on how to monetize better and can’t wait to see what comes next from their creative minds.

 

As always there is no NUMBER ONE app for the month of August, just a small group of apps that we really liked.

  • Futile Tiles: A simple game in which you fit blocks into corresponding holes. With tons of different ways to play the game, nice minimalistic design, co-op and VS multiplayer modes and great music, Futile Tiles will test your speed & reflex, eye to hand coordination and will surely give you hours of unique puzzle entertainment. (full review here)

  • Kaboom: Are you still sharp at maths like you were in high school? Kaboom will unleash your inner mathematician. Solve simple problems and prevent bombs from destroying the most famous cities in the world.

  • Spark: Control two sparks that travel in space and avoid falling blocks. This might have been simple if the sparks weren’t connected to each other in an invisible circle which makes this game both fun and challenging.

  • Tetrex: We have all played Tetris at some point in our lives, but Tetrex brings a whole new twist to the old formula. Featuring falling blocks from both screen sides, multiplayer mode and collectible power points bring you more than one reason why you should revisit this new and improved “block buster”.

 

Download all of them and share your favorite in the comments below:

http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016202507

http://mall.soc.io/apps/Kaboom+Free

http://mall.soc.io/apps/Spark

http://mall.soc.io/apps/Tetrex

Soc.io Review: Kaboom Free

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 01-09-2014 | Comments 0

When it comes to human intellect, there are many types of minds able to create all kinds of wonders. Some prone to art, others to math & science yet both dependant on one thing- experience. It grows with time, success, failure and repetition. Mathematical games have never been my cup of tea because math always required the same thing- repetition. I didn’t enjoy those nights filled with math worksheets one bit.

But for some reason I did enjoy the mathematical game Kaboom.

In this game math is a serious issue (as it is in life). An evil mathematician is bombing the greatest cities in the world. Every bomb has a math problem tied to it and you need to tap on the right answer before the bomb falls down from the sky. Tap the wrong answer (like I did countless times) and the bomb falls even faster!

Although we have separated art from math in the beginning of this review Kaboom free has not done the same. Gorgeous paintings of cities like London, Paris, Sydney, New York, Moscow and Lagos will follow you in the background as you unlock them with facebook shares or with in-game earned coins. Three power-ups will make this game easier. The bomb-freeze holds bombs in place for a while, missiles automatically destroy bombs and shields protect your town from bombs that flew past your poor math skills. The two difficulty levels make Kaboom suitable for both weak and strong mathematicians.

Banner ads are present almost at all times, it would have been better if they were positioned in the bottom instead of the top because the top is where bombs come from and above them is the math problem that you would like to see as fast as possible. Interstitials come every time you lose which can be bothersome at times.

Overall, Kaboom Free can be an easy and fun game to some players and a frustration to others. If you are among the latter, sharpen your pencils and get back to those old math worksheets because those bombs will not just float in the air.

Save the cities and share your math skills with friends!

Download now:

https://mall.soc.io/apps/Kaboom+Free

Soc.io Review: Futile Tiles

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io Reviews | Posted on 29-08-2014 | Comments 0

Playing puzzle games has always been a great experience for me even before the smartphone era came to be(pipemania, bejeweled, the incredible machine…). But there is something special about gesture controls and puzzle games on smart devices that further enhances the level of engagement users have.

 

Futile Tiles is a game that uses these fun controls and adds another layer of greatness above them. Tetris-shaped blocks(not all of them) fly from the left and travel to the right where round-cornered squares with specific holes move in the opposite direction. Your job is to fit the right shape with the corresponding hole (for example an “I” shaped block to an “I” shaped hole). With a simple tap on the screen you rotate your block so that it fits. Rotate it too late and you might miss the hole. For some players this is hard early on, but after some time the speed goes so high, only reflex masters will manage to rotate fast enough.

This is not where this puzzle story ends. Futile Tiles offers three levels of difficulty an option to switch graphic settings (for low-end or high-end devices… this can’t be seen in many mobile titles nowadays), a wide range of social media through which you can invite friends or compete and an awesome guitar music that follows the puzzle action while you play.

Another thing we found really interesting was the option to change controls. In games this usually means changing the buttons you use, or changing the tap-related controls with the gyroscope features of any smart device.

 

In Futile Tiles changing the controls brings A LOT more changes than control !

 

It’s not only about how you play through the same experience, it’s about how the whole experience changes with a simple tap on that “control type” button.  When we realized this we liked it sooo much that we were already forgetting that there is even more to this game.

That’s right!

You can enjoy fitting tiles solo, on a local co-op or versus modes or try the experimental mode that we wouldn’t want to spoil for you. Banner ads appear only between game sessions (if you stay there) which is hardly even slightly interuptive. Thus there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to download this great free to play puzzle game for Android.

Check it out yourself and tell us what you think!

Download now: http://mall.soc.io/apps/1016202507

The Must-Read Developer & Appreneur Curated List

Posted by Andreja Popovik | Posted in Soc.io News | Posted on 26-08-2014 | Comments 0

There is a lot to be said about the field of content curation, but in short it is a process which consists of: aggregating info, going through all of it, finding out what is the most relevant, present it in a short, readable and easy to understand way and share it with the rest of the world.Today we’ll share with you a big curated list of useful links (found on reddit.com) that we believe will be really valuable to every developer and appreneur.

http://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/13t659/the_exhaustive_list_of_app_monetization_methods/

Although this is an older list, these curated lists never really expire because they usually lead readers to good sources of information such as websites that constantly do research and post news related to the curated subject. Once you have a good list of info, check it regularly and you’ll stay up to date in whatever you’re interested in. These lists are used in all news apps(feedly, business insider, appy geek…) and almost all of them allow you to make your own lists with your own favorite websites that you trust the most.

 

Evernote is a great place to hold links, write notes, tasks and much more, Pocket is a simpler version that keeps links ready to be read later, Pearltrees is a fun way to visually present your curation process and there are a lot more tools to choose from.

Just start with one tool and one subject. Alltop is a website which automatically feeds info from a lot of sources. Enter the topic you’re interested in and start finding more about it.