Critical Bacon Duo Brings Hardcore Ninja Combat to Mobile Devices!

In this great interview with Kelvin Nishikawa and Avery Wong, founders of Critical Bacon Apps, we discuss their upcoming title Jurojin: Immortal Ninja. These two industry veterans have put up their own stakes to build the kind of game that they would like to play.

Longtime console and computer gamers, Kelvin and Avery have taken everything they like from these platforms as well as borrowing from Naruto mythology, to create Jurojin: Immortal Ninja. This game combines strategic combat elements with a P2P style to allow players to do battle with other players with endless combinations of creative and dynamic powers, which you earn be defeating foes who wield the powers (similar to Mega Man).

Kelvin and Avery talk about the philosophy behind the creation of their hardcore game for hardcore gamers and talk about the creation of its essential "compulsion loop." We talk about their monetization plans and their theory that monetization plans must be baked into the game from day 1, to ensure that they fit seamlessly with the game and don't affect the user experience negatively.

This interview was a lot of fun and I have high hopes for Critical Bacon Games. Please follow them on Twitter @CritBaconGames and on Facebook facebook.com/CriticalBacon to see what's next for this dynamic Ninja duo.

Tap Exchange Case Study: Words in a Pic

1000s of developers are using Tap for Tap’s platform to help grow their app business. Today I’d like to focus on the company who’s using the Tap Exchange to great effect.

The Tap Exchange is a tool that allows you to show ads for other apps. Every tap (or click) on these ads earns you a tap credit, which you spend to immediately generate a tap on your app’s ad. To simplify you can think of it like this: You show ads for other apps and other apps will show ads for you. Even simpler: Show ads, get installs. Here’s an example of someone doing that to great effect on Tap for Tap.

Marcus Dale Rundberg’s Qiwii Games is an independent app making company out of Sweden, focused on building smart and fun word games like their hit “Words in a Pic.” Qiwii joined Tap for Tap in September this year and has been an active member of our community ever since. His apps are taking advantage of all the tools Tap for Tap has to offer, but his experience on the Tap Exchange has been really successful. Here are the numbers since September.

Impressions shown on the Tap Exchange: 4 300 000

Installs generated on the Tap Exchange: 6 500

 

Impressions per install: 660

This means that on the Tap Exchange, Words in a Pic is generating an install and getting a new user for every 660 impressions. To Qiwii, these installs are 100% free, however, savvy developers like Marcus recognize that the cost of these installs is actually the ad revenue that could have been earned instead of showing Tap Exchange ads. So say that Words in a Pic’s 4.3 million ad impressions would have earned $1 ecpm, it means that the approximate “cost” of these 6500 installs is about $.66 per install.

Ad Impressions: 4 300 000

Estimated ecpm: $1

Installs generated: 6500

 

Estimated cost per install: $.66

For a steady stream of non-incentivized installs, $.66 per install is a great price. Especially when the cash price is actually 0.

Here’s what Marcus has to say about Tap for Tap:

Tap for Tap is really easy to set up. In about 15 minutes you can be up and running with their SDK. We are now getting thousands of new users each month, with close to zero amount of work. It’s also a great way to cross-promote your apps and extend the lifetime of your users. A great ad platform!”

If you’re an app developer looking for a no cost, hassle-free way to generate new installs for your app, please consider joining the Tap Exchange!

 

Here’s a link to an interview I did with Marcus last week.

 

Word Game Success! Marcus Dale Rundberg tells us how

Marcus Dale Rundberg pops by Tap Your App to discuss his Swedish based, internationally successful Words in a Pic game.

We talk about how he got to 1 million users, and 200 000 daily active users. He helps me define what he means by what makes a "hit" in the app world. 

We talk about how important it is to start locally and localize globally. Words in a pic is translated into 9 languages! 

Marcus talks about how to improve the formula of already successful apps to create a hit.

 

 

Marcus is a very successful user of Tap for Tap having generated 1000s of free installs on the Tap Exchange. He talks about how this steady accumulation of users has been a great part of his business strategy.

We talk about how important it is to mediate among different ad networks to keep them competing with each other for the best results. But most importantly he advocates for using In Game Currency, as it always produces the best results vs ads.

The end of the interview cuts off unfortunately, but Marcus wanted to make sure to add the following information: 

My favorite apps:
I don't play so many apps besides out own ;) When i get of work it's nice to just relax but I used to play candy crush quite a bit but when i got to level 208 i quit :) So now it's mostly the Google Analytics app to see our active users :)

Some tips to monetize:
- Use a mediation layer, don't let any possible impressions go to waste.
- Always have items available for purchase, such as coins and clues.
- Not everyone wants to spend real money, keep those users as well buy letting them earn free items/coins/etc in different ways!

TfT is RTB!

The business of online and mobile advertising is filled with all kinds of three and four letter acronyms like CPI, CPC, CPM, eCPM, CPA, TTR, CVR, DSP, SSP, SaaS, IAP, LTV just to name a few. If you’re unfamiliar with any of these, a quick Google search will clue you in to their meaning.

One of the most exciting acronyms in the world of mobile advertising is RTB and is the subject of this blog post. RTB stands for Real Time Bidding. RTB technology is quickly changing the face of online and mobile advertising for the better for both publishers and advertisers. Currently over 25% of all ad inventory is purchased through RTB networks.

Today I’m proud to announce that Tap for Tap is now an RTB SSP network, or a Real Time Bidding Supply Side Platform. So what exactly does that mean for you as an App Developer? Better eCPMs! First, don't worry, there's nothing you need to change in order to start reaping the benefits of RTB, so sit tight.

Real Time Bidding is the process by which an increasingly large percentage of online and mobile ad inventory is sold. In the past, companies that wanted to buy online media to advertise their products and services needed to commit ahead of time to a certain price, amount and a certain kind of media they wanted to buy. These factors make up a bid, and the ad network whose traffic you were bidding on would sell the traffic to the highest bidder.

The process with RTB is similar, in that you still make a bid on the traffic you’d like to receive, but instead of doing it ahead of time, RTB allows advertisers to bid on your ad traffic in real time.

So whenever your app calls our servers for an ad to monetize it, we send all the details we have about that impression to our advertiser partner. Advertisers want to know as much about the impression as possible such as the app name and country the user came from, the device and carrier the user is using as well as any other available information, like latitude and longitude, gender and age. The more information the app is able to provide, the more likely it is to fetch a higher bid from the competing advertisers.

Currently, Tap for Tap is connected with 5 top RTB DSPs, or Demand Side Platforms. I mentioned earlier that Tap for Tap is a supply side platform. We bring the supply (your ad impressions) and DSPs bring the demand (advertisers who want to buy your ad impressions). Every time your app calls our servers for an ad impression, we send that request to our 5 RTB DSP partners and they decide whether they want to bid on that impression and what they want to bid on that impression. When they both want the same impression, they bid against each other and earn more ad revenue for you.

RTB technology is changing the ad game because it’s allowing advertisers to select the ad inventory that they find the most valuable. This is a great thing for developers, because often, advertisers want to bid on similar inventory. This means that they’ll bid more aggressively to get the ad inventory they want. This means you’ll earn more money for your app’s ad impressions.

We plan on bringing on more RTB networks and as the competition for your app’s ad inventory increases, so too will the eCPMs on the TfT RTB SSP and that’s A’OK! 

Tap for Tap Best Practices

How to use Tap for Tap

 

This blog post is a meant to be a quick guide to how to best use Tap for Tap's comprehensive marketing platform to drive new users to your app, how to leverage those users into new ones, and finally, how to best monetize your app's ad inventory. These steps will be different depending on where you are in your app development career, how many users you already have and how many apps you have in your portfolio. Once you have the Tap for Tap SDK installed, all of these steps are easily executable. The Earning Preference Slider recommendations I make here are account wide settings that you can change from your dashboard.

Step 1: Sign Up for Tap for Tap and Integrate the SDK

The easiest step on this list. Sign up is free and you should see about a dozen links throughout our site, but just in case, go right HERE and sign up for a free Tap for Tap account. Tap for Tap's SDK is designed to be installed very easily. From all reports, coders spend around 3-5 minutes installing the Tap for Tap SDK. We have plugins for Corona, Unity3d, Appcelerator, Adobe Air, Basic4Android and are fully integrated with Ad Mob Mediation and Mo Pub. The SDK, the plugins and instructions for all of their use can be found on our documentation portal.

Step 2: CPC Paid Promotion Campaign to Build a User Base

Recommended Earning Preference Slider Setting: 100% Tap Exchange/ 0% Monetize

If you're just starting out and only have a few users, it will be tough to get results on the free Tap Exchange. You need to have users to get more users with this kind of cross-promotion so for apps with very small (under 100) user base, we like to recommend a paid promotion or CPC campaign. To do this, select the app you'd like to promote from your App screen and select Paid Promotion campaign on the left side of the screen. Set your bids, your budget on this screen then you're good to go. Start with a global campaign at the minimum bid, $.05 and see how that works for you. Adjust your bid up if you'd like more traffic. If you want to target specific countries, go back to Country Targeting on the left side of the screen and these will appear in your new CPC promotion campaign. You can then set custom bids for each country you're targeting. Next, make sure your creatives look good. You can use the auto-generated light and dark banners that we provide, but we recommend that you upload your own sweet looking banners to promote your app. Once you have your budget and targeting settings the way you want and the banners you'd like to use. Turn on your campaign and let it run its course. You can monitor your eCPI (effective cost per install) in the reporting section. We have hundreds of developers who are generating hundreds of daily installs in this fashion. It’s a great way to get the ball rolling, especially if you’re able to re-invest earnings you make from the monetization side of things into paid promotion campaigns. The recommended earning preference slider setting (100% Get Users) will allow you to leverage each new user as you acquire them.

 

Step 3: Cost-Free, Hassle-Free User Acquisition with the Tap Exchange

Recommended Earning Preference Slider Setting: 80% Tap Exchange/ 20% Monetize

Once you have some users, you can start to show them Tap Exchange ads. The more users you have to show ad impressions to and to generate taps from, the more users you stand to gain from the Tap Exchange. Every time one of your users taps on an ad from the Tap Exchange, we’ll award you a tap credit. As soon as our system sees you have a tap credit to spend, it goes out and starts promoting your app on our network, trying to earn you a new tap from a new user. In this fashion, the Tap Exchange is a cost-free, hassle-free way of leveraging your current users into new users, or as we like to put it, an engine for perpetual user acquisition. If you let the Tap Exchange run, you’ll find yourself with a steady stream of new users coming into your app. The beauty of the Tap Exchange is that opposed to a traditional ad network model where you have the ad network taking a cut on both sides of the exchange, the Tap Exchange is a direct trade between developers, where the only cut is Tap for Tap’s 20% cut of the ad impressions (we need to keep the lights on somehow!)

The Tap Exchange is also a flexible tool that allows more advanced app developers with multiple apps across multiple platforms in their portfolio to leverage the success of one app into the launching of another. Say you have an established app with thousands of daily users, but you’d like to launch your new app which has no users; simply install the Tap for Tap SDK into both apps. Then you can earn tap credits on your established app and spend them in your newly launching app. You can do this in your Apps screen. On the right you’ll see spending priority. Select which apps you’d like to promote and which you’d like to remain un-promoted. We currently have no restrictions about cross-platform promotion so feel free to earn credits on your Android app and spend them on your iOS app or vice-versa.

The recommended Earning Preference Slider Setting for this stage is 80% Tap Exchange and 20% Monetization, while you continue to build your user base.

Step 4: Self Promotion Network of your Own Apps

Recommended Earning Preference Slider Setting: 80% Tap Exchange/ 20% Monetize

Many successful app developers who’ve built a business out of app development suggest that developers think about creating a portfolio of apps rather than focusing on one single app at a time. Most of Tap for Tap’s developers have more than one app. When this is the case, we highly suggest that developers take advantage of the Self Promotion tool we offer. Self Promotion allows you to select a portion of your “Get Users” or Tap Exchange traffic and use it to promote only your own apps. Many developers use the Self Promotion tool to promote their own network of apps, or to promote paid versions of their apps. You can select the percentage of Self Promotion traffic you’d like to employ in your Account page. If you first select 80% Get Users and 20% Make Money with the Earning Preference Slider, it means you have 80% of your traffic going to the exchange. If you then select 50% Self Promotion in your Account page, it means that overall, you’ll use the Tap Exchange 40% of the time, promote your own apps 40% of the time and monetize your app with ads 20% of the time.

 

Step 5: Monetizing your App’s Traffic

Recommended Earning Preference Slider Setting: 20% Tap Exchange/ 80% Monetize

Once you’ve built up a sizable user base using Tap for Tap’s Paid Promotion, Tap Exchange and Self Promotion tools, it’s time to make some money on Tap for Tap’s Monetization network. To kick things off, change your Earning Preference Slider to 20% Get Users and 80% Make Money. This means that we’ll show paid ads on your app 80% of the time. We recommend keeping the Tap Exchange on, at least a little bit because it keeps a steady stream of new users coming into your app and also keeps the ad mix fresh, so you’re promoting paid advertisers as well as other indie apps. For monetization, we suggest that you’re using Interstitial ads. Interstitials perform better than any ad unit and when used correctly, they also annoy your users the least. Banners are good for volume, but because they take up screen real estate at all times, they can have a negative effect on user experience. Banners can still be used to good effect as long as you have the real estate to spare on your screen and as long as they don’t cover up any functionality of your app. App walls also work well, but are generally lower volume ad units. Once you’ve decided to put the focus on monetization and set your Earning Preference Slider accordingly, we’ll start sending you paid ads via our RTB partners. RTB means Real Time Bidding. Tap for Tap is currently working with five different RTB partners who are all bidding on your ad inventory in real time. When your app calls our servers through our SDK, we take that impression, append all the data we have about that impression and send it out to the RTB networks to see what they want to bid on it. We’re constantly optimizing our system to try to deliver you the best possible eCPMs in as many countries as possible.

 

Step 6: Evaluate and Re-invest in Your App

Once you’ve built up your user base and started to monetize them with Tap for Tap’s monetization network, the next step is to determine what each user is worth for you. Using your analytics platform, determine how much ad revenue you extract from each user and combine with the value of any in-app purchases your users make to determine the approximate LTV of a user in your app. Once you know the LTV on average of the users in your app you know the approximate price you can afford to pay for new users. If you earn $1 on average from your users, you can spend around $.80 per user to acquire new installs. Go ahead and start up a Paid Promotion campaign and try to optimize your CPI to around $.50-$.80 cents through creative optimization. As long as you can keep bringing in new users to your app for less than you eventually make from those users, you can build a solid app business that brings dividends for years to come.

 

Plugin Madness!

 Unity3d, Adobe Air, Basic4Android, Appcelerator/Titanium Tap for Tap plugins now available

Tap for Tap Phil has been hard at work, creating new plugins for all the great app building frameworks we've supported at Tap for Tap. Now users of Unity 3D, Appcelerator Titanium, Basic4Android and Adobe Air (along with already completed plugin Corona SDK plugin) can easily integrate Tap for Tap's interstitials, banners and app walls for monetization and/or Tap Exchange. 

These frameworks are great ways to build apps and we're happy to be working with each of them. If you have requests for additional plugin, please email eric@Tapfortap.com and we'll put them on our list.  Also, all our plugins are open source, so feel free to innovate on them!

Please see our documentation page for each of these plugins!

Thanks and happy tapping

-Eric

Tap for Tap Plugin for Corona SDK Ready!

Corona developers using Tap for Tap have reason to rejoice today. Phil, the SDK guy, has completed work on the Corona SDK plugin. Now Corona devs can monetize their apps, exchange taps and promote their own apps with Tap for Tap's one stop, app building business solution. Find it here, on Corona's documentation portal.

If you have any issues, be sure to post on Corona's Tap for Tap Forum Section (Phil checks it daily and will help you out ASAP if you experience any issues: 

http://forums.coronalabs.com/forum/606-tap-for-tap/

 

Here's a video explaining the very simple process of adding Tap for Tap to your Corona App

Corona Labs Documentation Portal

http://docs.coronalabs.com/daily/plugin/tapfortap/

 

 

What’s the value of a Tap Exchange? Find out with our Install Calculator

Tap for Tap began as a cross-promotion tap exchange for mobile app developers. We've since added new features like the ability to generate ad revenue like a normal ad network, but the Tap Exchange continues to work in the background, generating 1000s of installs a day for 1000s of Tap for Tap developers. Now, using our Install Calculator, you can get a sense of what Tap for Tap can do for you.

The original idea with the Tap Exchange was to provide app developers a means to generate an incremental stream of new installs for their apps for no cost. Instead of having to buy traffic (impressions, clicks or installs) from ad networks that each require their own integration procedures, optimization techniques, ad formats etc, Tap for Tap offers an automatic, perpetual, free user acquisition engine. Just strap the Tap Exchange to your app, show some ads and start getting new users.

If you've ever wondered how many installs you could generate with your app, head over to Tap for Tap's new Install Calculator. Just enter your platform, your category, the daily number of impressions you plan to send to the Tap Exchange, and we'll use our historical data to tell you on average, how many installs you'd end up receiving for your traffic. 

Check the Install Calculator out to see the value the Tap Exchange brings to the table!

 

-Eric

Tap Exchange Explained

 

 

 

Joe Wilson discusses Studio’s 1M Users, being dubbed “The Instagram of Design” & his take on iOS7

Today's guest on Tap Your App is Joe Wilson, CEO and founder of Studio, an iPhone app that allows you to create, remix and share amazing designs with your friends. Joe is a vetran designer, app entrepreneur and iOS lover so he also shares his thoughts about iOS7's dramatic makeover.

In this great interview, we discuss his app's meteoric rise to 1 million users in a just a few months, his great experience with the tech press and being dubbed "The Instagram of Design."  We discuss the next evolution of social media and the palpable shift from content consumption to content creation and co-creation. Studio leads this charge by creating a social environment where people can create their own content and remix content made by others.

The next portion of our discussion centers on Joe's thoughts about iOS7.  Does iOS7 pave the way for a golden age of app design, or does it just rip off Android's flat appearance? What does iOS7's new visual language mean for app development? What's great about iOS7, and what left Joe wanting?

Find out all this and more in this exciting interview with a rising star in the app world.

00:41 What is Studio?
03:00 What do users use Studio for? Professional, meme generation
03:30 How did you make complex functionality feel intuitive?
04:40 How many users do you have? Over a million
04:55 How handles your servers? Were they ready for your massive influx of users?
06:30 Studio is something new in social media – Social Co-creation!
06:45 How did you get 1 Million Users?
07:25 Studio is the Instagram of Design. Tall order!
07:45 The ideal way to talk with tech reporters
09:30 What's in a logo. What does the Studio logo mean?
10:40 Steve Blank's article on Social Media
11:40 Curation vs Creation – social media past and present
12:15 Mobile represents liberation
15:10 Remixing others work is like training wheels until you find your own creative voice
16:20 Studio's Monetization plan
17:39 Studio will be iTunes for designer packages
19:15 Advanced monetization plans. Bring in the brands.
20:15 Brands and content
21:38 Meme Generation
24:30 iOS7 Analysis from Joe Wilson
25:30 iOS7 is all about "deference to content" Get the UI out of the way to let the apps shine
26:03 iOS7 gripes – icons
26:45 Eric learns an important new word: Skeuomorphism
35:00 iOS vs Android
38:20 Did iOS7 take from Android's design with iOS7
43:29 Joe Wilson's favorite font: BEEBAS

Be Water — Find and fill the world’s app needs with Scott Lindenbaum, COO of Spun

Tap Your App is back! After a brief hiatus to focus on Tap for Tap's development, my Tap Your App podcast series is back in business and looking for new interviewees. Drop me a line Eric at Tap for Tap if you've got something to say.

First up is an interview recorded a few months back with Scott Lindenbaum (@ScottLindenbaum), COO of Spun. Spun is the best way to get great news, curated to your tastes, tastefully, delightfully designed.

This is one of the best interviews I've ever done. Scott is a very smart fellow and well versed all sorts of topics. We start by discussing the inspiration for and the philosophy behind his app, Spun. We get into the behavioral psychology of the app user and how to find needs in the world and fill them.

Later Scott imparts his interesting story of how he's been able to fund his app projects and discusses how his ability to stay ahead of the curve, technologically and ideologically has helped him stay on the radar of some very powerful media sources.

We discuss the importance of innovative and intuitive design when it comes to app development. Among other things, I learn what a Basil Ganglia is, and how important it is to keep it stimulated. 

We cover a wide range of philosophically relevent issues in this wonderful interview. Check it out below.

Scott's favorite apps (at least they were a few months ago).

Wunderlist - Best To-Do App out there

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/wunderlist-to-do-task-list/id406644151?mt=8

Mint - Classic financial managment 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/mint.com-personal-finance/id300238550?mt=8

Venmo – The best way to pay people, period

https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/venmo/id351727428?mt=8

Snapseed – ** Best Mobile Photo App 2012 ** (TIPA)

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/snapseed/id439438619?mt=8

0:17      What is the Spun App?
1:17      What is the inspiration for the Spun app?
1:40      Behavioral psychology of app users
2:47      Too much content out there! Spun curates
4:05      How does Spun curate content differently than its competition
6:00      Detour geekout on Indie films
8:00      How did you know that Spun was an app vs a mobile website?
9:45      FUNDING: How did you make it happen? Great story.
13:40    The Power of Narrative!
14:08    What makes a person great?
15:34    What makes Spun's new version dramatically different
16:45    Scott shows off Spun
18:00    "Each gesture should be a surprise" Delight is key.
20:00    People think of apps "spatially"
22:11    Expectations of app users are incredibly high
23:30    Precrime future chats. Data is everything.
28:30    Media buying philosophy. Mobile has a 3rd dimension
34:22    What does a blank screen mean? Existential terror!
35:05    Summary of Key points of the interview
42:27    Scott Lindenbaum's favorite apps