In today’s digital age, many users still have a hard time accepting paying for apps, even if they use them every day and even if the app costs as much as a cup of coffee. The digital products we benefit from are supposed to “exist” as the weather “exists.” So, they should be free, according to some.
However, it’s hardly possible to build a free product without either jeopardizing the experience or doing nasty things with people’s data.
Let me explain the mechanics:
The app is developed by a large multinational with dozens of developers, who can be financed with profits from other parts of the business. Eg: Microsoft can deploy thousands of dollars to developing a keyboard (or acquire an existing one and improve it incredibly) even when the app makes no money because they can use cash from other parts of the business such as sales of the Office Package, or profit from advertising, for example, to pay the developers of this app.
The app is created by independent developers who have an incredible, or crazy idea and believe it can work, i.e. that people will be interested in it, that there is a gap in the market for such a product. Just like the developers of a large multinational, they also need to survive while developing the app for months and months, paying rent, food, transport, etc. Living costs like everyone else. Now, if they are developing the app for 8-10 hours a day, they are unable to earn money elsewhere. So, how can they keep working on the app, or when it’s available on the app store, keep on updating and eliminating bugs, innovating, creating new functionalities, if it’s a free app?
These are options:
- Charge for the app
- Add in-app purchases
- Add advertising
- Sell personal data to third parties (How much does your data cost?)
We, at Fleksy, have always strived to provide the best user experience, which means no pop-up banners spoiling the typing experience, charging for the app, or selling your personal data. But, if users feel like having customization of their keyboard, we give them the option to purchase themes (in-app purchases).
And what happens is that users get very frustrated and angry for paying even 0,99 EUR for a theme pack. Think about how many of these 0,99 in-app purchases would take to pay a developers’ compensation. If you earn 2000 EUR, that would be selling 2.020 themes. In one month. For one person. We are a team at Fleksy, so it’s much more than that what we strive for.
We think that’s unfair
That’s why we want to keep Fleksy free to download and use all of its dozens of features. But, we charge for themes and features. And we sincerely hope you understand the mathematics behind it.
Thank you all for supporting Fleksy and making it awesome, we believe in the power of the people. And, for new Fleksy lovers landing, hope we also get your full support!
— Olivier, CEO of Fleksy
We’d love to know what you think! Talk to us below or on Twitter @fleksy !