Indy app store reveals ambitious plans for GetJar Gold.
GetJar launched its GetJar Gold virtual currency programme earlier this year to reward app downloads.
The service is funded by advertising and works by inviting developers to add an SDK into their apps. This adds a 'pay with GetJar Gold' option alongside any traditional in-app payments currency they already use - and thereby takes the currency to apps on stores such as Google Play or Amazon Appstore.
Now, GetJar is ramping up the scheme, and it reckons it could even become a de facto currency in the app space.
Why? Because there is no direct money transaction involved (developers can cash in, but users never pay for or cash in their coins). This means there's no fraud or regulation factor to bar its progress.
Ilja Laurs, executive chair of GetJar, said: "I really believe GetJar Gold has huge potential to work across the whole app space. Everyone benefits: developers get revenue, users get content, and we get traffic."
Consumers can earn virtual coins in three ways – by registering with GetJar, downloading sponsored content or downloading any GetJar app.
However, in the future GetJar says it will reward users with virtual coins for a whole range of interactions with the site, such as commenting on the site, uploading pics, sharing links and so on.
Laurs said: "It's all about consumer engagement for us. And kind of user interaction with our service drives value, because it increases the audience for our commercial partners."
At present developers mostly benefit from GetJar Gold by accepting it as a payment and converting it into cash (they get 90c for 100 coins). But longer term, GetJar wants to the wider developer community to offer coins to users as well as accepting them.
Laurs gives an example of how it can help them.
He said: "Take a dating site. Research shows that the value they get from a user that uploads a photo is much higher than from those that choose not to. It can offer virtual coins as an incentive to upload, and the returns would be much higher than the cost of buying the currency in the first place."
Laurs believes GetJar Gold needs 40m users to reach critical mass, and that these various initiatives can take it past the milestone this year.
The scheme currently has 1m users and is live on 20,000 games from developers such as Halfback.