The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice.com (they provide coverage content onsales contests, gamification trends, and employee engagement software and much more). Also be sure to check out their Tech Conference Calendar.

Jenny Diggles and Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice, continue the conversation about YIX and some of the strategies behind the app’s development. Jenny mentions that a Microsoft partnership was one of the key successes they had early on in the development process.

For mobile developers, figuring out how to pay for hosting costs is one of the largest hurdles to cross. Often times, hosting can account for the majority of expenses for new mobile apps.  For YIX, a partnership with Microsoft allowed them to focus on the development of their game instead of hosting.

Microsoft, which places a lot of emphasis on helping startups, offered to cover all of their hosting free of charge for a year.  In addition to hosting, Microsoft offered devices to YIX for testing, and an introduction to XBox for development.

For a game that is focused on the social, fun aspect of the game first, Jenny and team had to think of a creative way to generate revenue and turn the app into a sustainable platform.  To do this, they approached the problem from two different angles.  In-app, there is currently one purchase option available, and that is for a “favorites pack”.

Users can save 7 gifs as their “favorites” to use later, but if they want an additional 7 spots, they can pay $0.99 for a pack.  The second avenue they are using, and one that is much more innovative, is offering companies the opportunity to have sponsored gifs included with the game gif choices.  Companies can create funny content that is then delivered to the user alongside the other gifs.

Jenny notes the importance though, that these 3 sponsored gifs are only in addition to the original 10 gifs, and that they can be turned off if a user wants to.  This ingenious method allows the YIX team to deliver sponsored content that actually integrates with gameplay instead of hindering it, and provides users the opportunity to interact with it during the game.

Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 28 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.