Israeli company IronSource has come up with a new way for developers to ask their users for money or other forms of support.
Chief Design Officer Dan Greenberg told me that the product, called the KudosKit, evolved from an experiment conducted with the iOS app good weather, which was initially developed by Fried Cookie and distributed by IronSource (IronSource has since acquired Fried Cookie).
Greenberg added that developers are “all struggling to earn money for the work that we’re doing,” because for many, existing monetization systems such as in-app purchases have proven to be “very, very hard for them to crack.”
With a KudosKit, instead of requiring users to pay for the app, or for additional content/virtual goods within the app, developers can present them with a screen asking for their support. That can ask users to “buy us a cup of coffee” (make a small donation), Like the app on Facebook, tweet about the app, rate it in the App Store, and more.
In some ways, it’s similar to the “tip jar” widgets that you’ll see on some websites, but customized for mobile. And with the underlying analytics technology, Greenberg said his team is “100 percent focused on making this work.” Specifically, he said the KudosKits can identify the most effective points in the app to ask for support, direct requests at specific user segments (so loyal users see the message while first-time users don’t), and localize the messages in different geographies.
Greenberg said that although the company is only announcing the technology broadly now, six months of early usage are promising, with 700,000 users donating a total of $1.2 million. The KudosKits have supposedly seen an 0.58 percent conversion rate to paid “appreciations”, with an average appreciation size of $2.10.
By the way, IronSource is adopting a similar approach in how it makes money from the KudosKits itself — it’s a revenue sharing arrangement, but developers can determine what percentage of the proceeds they give to the company. In Greenberg’s words, “We’re actually giving the developer the opportunity to decide how much they appreciate our service.”
KudosKits are available for both iOS and Android apps. Interested developers can sign up here.