While we are talking about freeware, we need to consider all of the types of freeware. Freeware has moved beyond just something that you download onto your computer. With the amount of smartphones out there in the world, freeware apps have become the most popular types of freeware that is out there.
Regardless of whether you are an Apple or Android user, there is freeware software out there for you to use on your phone. The most profitable freeware is through apps that have in app purchase options. I am sure you have seen those apps. They start out free, but then you can buy in things that will cost you money through the freeware, while the software itself remains free. Let’s look at the most popular apps out there that are free to start out, but then wind up costing your money in the end.
- Pokémon Go: I have to start with this one. It came out in July 2016 and has taken the smartphone world by storm. The app is freeware. You do not have to pay anything to download it. That said, Niantic has been making some serious cash off of the in-app purchases. The company, within the first month, was worth an estimated $3.65 billion. But the second money it was reported to be worth $29 billion. This is a completely free app to download and use, but the in-app purchases as well as the popularity of the game made the value of it much higher than it would have been otherwise.
- Clash of Clans: Another incredibly popular freeware, clash of clans also makes money from in-app purchases as well as from ads. It is still the most desired online game and was updated in August 2016, building even more popularity from the users. While this may not be my thing, I cannot scoff at the popularity of the game. They have done very well.
- Facebook: We cannot forget the most popular social network around when we are talking about freeware. Facebook is completely free to use, letting you connect with your friends, family, and even strangers online to share pictures, updates, and other random information. Facebook has only been getting more popular over the years and now also has in-app purchases that have made the company even more popular than it was before. While Facebook was initially just something college students used, you can see its growing popularity by the fact that everyone now uses Facebook, from kids to grandparents.
- Tinder: While Tinder now has a premium version that is paid, in itself is still freeware. The dating app has had plenty of people turn their noses up at it, but the fact remains that the app is incredibly popular, making it one of the most profitable freeware apps out there. And online dating has pretty much become the norm in a lot of ways now, allowing you to check people out online before committing to going on a real life date with them. Freeware is now building relationships in its own new kind of way.
5. Spotify and Pandora: Now I know these are not the same app, but since they do the same thing, I’m lumping them together. Spotify and Pandora are both streaming music apps that are completely free as long as the music shuffles. If you would like more control over what you are listening to, then you have to pay for the premium package on both. Apple Music recently launched in an effort to compete with these guys, but since Apple Music is in no way free, there is never going to be the same amount of a following as the freeware that makes it so anyone can listen to anything.