The Art of Timing "Ask to Buy" requests in iOS 8

One of the news in iOS 8 was family sharing, and more specific to this blog post the new purchase requests where kids can ask their parents for permission to buy stuff in the App Store or most likely, in their favorite game.

Lots of games today is free to install, but the game play is designed for you to get quick progress for the initial 15-30 minutes to get you hooked, and then you start to become short of "game credits". The game still works fine, it just takes a long time to make progress. So they ask you to buy credits, litterally buying time inside the game.

So imagine your kids getting up early on a Saturday morning. You're still in bed, and you just want to sleep. Along comes a push notification on your iPhone, and it's your son or daughter who is asking for permission to spent $5 on a new game, or some credits in Heyday. What is your response?

You're probably willing to pay a lot more than $5 to be able to sleep in on a Saturday. It's a sleep protector! And it's very effective.

So what are you doing as a game developer to take advantage of this situtation? I haven't seen this mentioned as a strategic way to time reminders in games, but there must be a nice opportunity to make sure that those (annoying) reminders to play the game arrives at just the right time.

Martin H. Normark

Product and UX Hacker. Web and iOS developer.

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