What are they exactly?
Freemium is a conjunction of the two words “free” and “premium” and it is a relatively new term introduced in the past decade with the introduction of iTunes store and the Google Play store.
Put simply, it is a business model where the bare bones of an app are free to download and use while more advanced features must be paid for.
An example of this could be a simple translating app. For free, you could download it and translate from English to any other language for free. Then they would charge for a “premium” version to translate from any language into English.
This is only one example of freemium and there are a few different variations of this that fall under the following 3 Categories.
1. Paying for essential features
This is the most prevalent of freemium apps on the app store. They allow you to download a basic version for free but without paying, you are locked out of important features.
We mentioned an example of this above. A translating app that makes you pay to translate from any other language into English. Another version of this is the translating app requiring you to pay $1 for each langauge you want to use.
2. Paying to use it more often
Often freemium apps will have a model that allows you to use the app to it’s full extent but will have a limit to how many times you can use within a certain time-frame. You can then pay to use it more.
For our example of a translating app, it would let you use it fully but only allow you to translate one sentence an hour. You could then pay 10¢ to translate each additional sentence.
While 10¢ doesn’t sound like much, it really adds up! You’re often better off outright buying a translating app for $2 instead of using the freemium app.
3. Paying to make it look better
The most benign freemium model is the one that allows you to use it to it’s full extent with no limits. The only thing you can pay money on is to make it look better. This can be done by paying to remove ads or paying for fancy fonts or features that don’t impact the functionality.
The translating app under this model would allow you to translate as much as you want and as often as you want. But with an ad at the bottom of the screen. You could then pay to remove this ad permanently. Another example of this would be paying for fun voices or fonts for the translation.
The purpose of this is the creator wants you to use their app and if you want to support them (so that they create more), you can!
How does this affect me?
You may have recieved an email from Google about your personal Google+ account and/or page closing down. Thankfully It’s nothing to worry about!
Google+ was Google’s attempt at creating their own social media network like Facebook and they’ve realised that it just isn’t working out. Because of this, they’re closing it down but don’t worry! Your Gmail and regular Google account won’t be affected.
You don’t need to do anything with this email and it’ll sort itself out.