Tapjoy as the only way to get coins - legal?

I’m almost at the publishing state of an app that has some unlocked features.
Those features can be unlocked with coins that are earned by TapJoy or downloading my other apps.
Is doing so breaking Google’s TOS?

If so, will a daily bonus of coins will solve this issue? (as it breaks the ‘force’ of downloading other apps to unlock features)

Thanks in advance!

No way. It is not breaking any rules. With daily bonus, probably users will appreciate it more as then they will not download much apps, but it will be less revenue for you.
P.S How did u manage to give coins by downloading your own apps?

Are you sure its not breaking any rules?

The new TOS has this section:

“Ad Walls
Forcing the user to click on ads or submit personal information for advertising purposes in order to fully use an app provides a poor user experience and is prohibited. Users must be able to dismiss the ad without penalty.”

Isn’t using it alone means that the users are getting penalty for not pressing ads?
those sections are so not clear it’s amazing! thanks google…

Well, according to the quotations that you come out, Tapjoy and all others seems brakes rules. Hm, didnot read that before. Would be better if you will ask it from Tapjoy and share it with us. So far I have Tapjoy in my app and I didnt get any ban.

I think it’s debatable, like much of Google’s ToS. Most devs offer small amounts of free coins to users for simple actions like logging in each day etc.
This obviously gets the user used to obtaining currency etc, but also covers the dev’s ass considering the ToS.

So basically if i provide another way of getting coins (daily bonus OR iap) the TOS is not violated? legally speaking…

If users can open all features with possibility to avoid ads then yes, it includes IAP, but TOS does not tell us anything about free coins. If you gave small amount of free coins every day then you will not break TOS because users can open all features over time but its not confirmed. Also there is a problem for developers that can not use IAP so I think that is legal to lock features with Tapjoy (with no IAP) if you gave some free coins in amount that can open whole app.

That was my thought too… definitely debatable :slight_smile:

Well, Tapjoy is invited to all the roundtable type discussions in front of audience etc. - so seems to be respected (though the virtual currency/incentivized installs fell awry of Apple earlier).

But Google seems to be tolerating them for now.

GetJar is also something similar - and Google has gone so far as to allow GetJar Rewards app to list on the Google Play Store (!) - so that is saying something - and my earlier guess was that Google maybe interested in GetJar or something. However GetJar is being managed very badly i.e. are not as nimble as Tapjoy - i.e. I have always liked GetJar but in PRACTICE it is a pain to use and in all the surveys I’ve done (i.e. asking people) - the Tapjoy is more familiar and inviting in the interface side of it also.

GetJar however seems to pay more - but their servers are slow and the whole interface is slow - they could really do with some change of management or some wake up call within the company.

As a result you will see that Cut the Rope: Time Travel has switched away from GetJar to Tapjoy.

I was using GetJar in 2 apps - the conversion rate was terrible (i.e. revenue a fraction of even admob banner ads) - however that is a general issue with IAP (and I suspect the cash payment IAP models ONLY work because the “whales” tend to tilt the small numbers into higher territory). Such a concentration of buys is NOT possible with virtual currency like Tapjoy/GetJar etc. - because the user essentially has to “work” to earn the cash - which totally goes against the whole reason the “whale” buys stuff (they have sense they have money or moneyed parents or plenty of money from corruption - distimo reports whales are majority in asian countries ?).

The rationale as I understand of “whale” buying is that the IAP is essentially presented as a type of “cheating” - and feeds on the moneyed parents/kids perception “we can buy our way into anything” - as a result it is often presented as a “cheat” or shortcut - as opposed to the user having to work their way through something. Thus developers advocate that one should capitalize on even the $100 to buy 100K coins etc. type of price bracket as well (as there are buyers there).

This whale market (and the psychology behind it) unfortunately does not translate well into virtual currency IAP models like Tapjoy/GetJar - where having a user pay $5 would mean them having to download 50 apps ! (which is hard labor).

Therefore the virtual currency IAP I think will suffer considerably - and in reality one may only recover a fraction of revenue from such avenues - and bulk will remain with ads.

Unless a company like AppFlood comes in (i.e. supposedly no commission) - in which case developers may earn 2x better perhaps - though folks report nearly similar performance with AppFlood etc. right (?)

Though I could see how for certain types of apps - those which have a feature NOT seen in other apps - that users COULD potentially buy - and if so the conversion rate maybe better.

I am wondering what the performance is for apps which use tapjoy and which engage the user for longer (like games) - i.e. what is the revenue per user for Tapjoy etc. in these scenarios ?

Coming back to how to pace the virtual currency buying.

Initial engineer mentality would suggest just charging for who wants etc. - but very slowly you begin to appreciate the value (and as done by other companies) - of giving “free coins” and such. The advantage is:

  • user reengagement (user not pissed off initially that it is a “closed” app only requiring users earn coins)
  • user gets trained about whole “coin” stuff (and perhaps develops a feel for it or a “hunger for coins” etc. ?)
  • it may also bypass the Google TOS in that the user is never PREVENTED from using the app

However, one can employ some of the same psychological analysis from cash IAP model above - by phrasing your game/app in such a way that it IS usable - but not entirely “nice” with the free coins i.e. it could be “nicer” if the user just earned the coins using Tapjoy etc.

And it is HERE that the engineer may not understand - may only think in terms of “locking” the app and “unlocking” it - but in practice (and for apps being used more than once by the same user - though the app has to be good to have such returning users) the results maybe the same or BETTER if there is a subtle difference between coins that give free by the app - and the coins the user earns. For example just the process of awarding them coins may hinder their play - or the coins given are just a tad BELOW what they would like to get (i.e. their game play consumes it JUST a little faster).

This type of subtle balance may allow you to give impression to user that game is free and usable - but as they get fast - they may begin to feel slightly hamstrung - and this is where they will think the “shortcut” is better to use - i.e. just earn some with Tapjoy.

Anyway these are just my thoughts - from what I have understood so far - and are not complete since I don’t have much experience in this area yet.