App monetization starts with building engaging, high-quality apps with optimal user experiences. But it doesn’t stop there. The path to monetization also involves:

  • Increasing app visibility
  • Increasing app engagement and user retention
  • Using ads to generate revenue

In this guide, we explore each of these strategies in detail. 

Increasing app visibility

Follow these steps to improve your KaiOS app’s discoverability.

1. Choose a descriptive name

Choose a unique name under 20 characters. We recommend descriptive names that hint at the purpose of your app.

2. Invest in eye-catching visuals

Choose an icon and a banner that grab people’s attention and communicate what your app is about. Make sure your visuals are recognizable in small screens.

3. Add a helpful subtitle

Use the subtitle to explain what users can expect from your app. Highlight the main features and/or typical uses. Keep it under 40 characters.

4. Add an informative description

Provide the details users need to decide if your app is right for them. Keep your description under 200 characters.

5. Localize your app

Tailor the content of your app for users around the world. To learn more about localizing your app, see a sample app and recommended resources on Github.

Note: You may want to test different icons, banners, subtitles, and descriptions to discover what works best. We recommend testing one component at a time for at least a week. 

Increasing app engagement and user retention

Follow these steps to encourage repeat visits to your app.

1. Create optimal input and navigation methods

The way users interact with your app influences retention. KaiOS supports virtual cursors, but D-pad navigation tends to provide a better user experience.

2. Give users something to work towards

Add levels or missions for users to unlock. This helps keep them engaged.

3. Leaderboards

Add a global leaderboard to give users an opportunity to compete for higher scores.

4. Reward users

Give users rewards for accomplishing tasks. Rewards can be hints or extra lives. See “rewarded ads” below.

Using ads to generate revenue

App monetization in KaiOS comes from ad displays. There are two types of ads: interstitial (also known as full-screen ads) and responsive (also known as banner ads). 

1. Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are full-screen banners that appear in interstices (breaks and transitions).

Ads in full screen and banner size.

2. Responsive ads

Responsive ads appear at the top or at the bottom of the screen. You can choose to display a single banner ad for a set duration or have ads change every 20 seconds; you can also choose their placement on the screen.

Which one is best for your app? That depends on what your app does and how users interact with it. 

Responsive ads:

  • Don’t work for apps where gameplay interferes with users’ ability to interact with them; for example, endless runner games such as Birdy and Guardians
  • Do work for apps that use an emulated cursor for navigation, as well as in to-do list apps and apps with newsfeeds (when displayed in lists.)

Full-screen ads:

  • Do work for games, when shown at the moment the user completes a level.

Make ads less disruptive:

  • Use as few ad slots as possible. If possible, show all of the ads in one slot.
  • Avoid overwhelming users. Show only one type of ad at a time.
  • Don’t ruin the game. In games, make sure the session pauses each time a full-screen ad appears. Hide banners during gameplay to give users more screen space.
  • Avoid displaying full-screen ads in real-time. Instead, pre-load them so even users on low-speed connections can view them at once.
  • Reward ad viewers. Offer hints and extra lives in exchange for ad views.

Increase your chances of monetization:

1. Integrate rewarded ads

When it comes to generating revenue from ads, click-through rates (CTRs) matter more than impressions. Rewarded ads—ads that users can interact with in exchange for in-app rewards—are a proven strategy for improving CTRs.

Reward users for viewing ads

2. Set up an app-ads.txt file

Creating an app-ads.txt file makes information about your app available to advertisers, and makes them more willing to partner with you. Learn how to set up an app-ads.txt file.

Start monetizing your apps

Apps that generate revenue have fully-functioning features and provide optimal user experiences.

Additionally, they are “packaged” in a way that helps increase their relevance and visibility among other apps.

Finally, they integrate ads in non-intrusive ways that drive click-through.

Visit KaiAds to start monetizing your KaiOS apps.