Have you ever thought why most of the apps in the Google Chromestore or Apple iStore are free? If they are truly free, then how are they funding their operational costs? These apps are definitely making money! Here are four ways free apps earn money:

In-app purchases

Many famous apps like Clash of Clans, Summoners War, and Brave Frontier use this method. Instead of asking users to pay an upfront or subscription fee, they can download the app for free and are given the chance to purchase in-game items to help them in their progression in the game. This is definitely a viable model since users do not have to give an initial payment before experiencing the app.

In-app advertising

Just like the previous method, this is very effective too as users don’t need to buy the app before they can download it. What’s more alluring with this method is that the user is not even enticed to purchase in-game items. Instead of earning money through micro-transactions, the user is fed with ads provided by the app’s partners. This is usually risky as a large user base is needed in order to properly fund an app with this method.

Freemium platform

This method is famously used by apps like Spotify. The user is able to download the app instantly without any upfront fee but the user can opt to upgrade his account to a “premium” version of the app. The premium version usually has more features and contains no ads unlike the normal version that is riddled with ads.

Selling your information

Have you ever encountered an app where it asks for your permission to gain access to your personal information such as contacts, messages, and photos? They do this to know more about you and earn your data so that they can sell these to marketing companies and earn revenue through ads. Of course, they are technically not “stealing” since they inform the users that they need access and rely on your permission to do so. However, they still mislead the users in making them believe that these access permissions are needed in order to use their app.

The method of selling your information is not just used by apps. They are even used by big internet companies that you commonly use. They track everything you search, what you click, what you like, what you don’t like, and what you watch and sell this information to advertisers. Advertisers then target for people that fit their product and show advertisements to them.. A really detailed explanation has been done by CollegeHumor and Adam Ruins Everything on this style of earning money by, in a way, misleading users it that it is totally free. You can watch the video on Youtube here:

Account breaches happen everyday, some are big that reaches the news while some are small and often ignored. However, no matter how small, a breached account can be very dangerous as it gives away your personal information! Check if your account is breached.

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