I've been developing Apps and see companies/developers offering free apps without any advertising either. Does anyone know if they are monetizing this some other way? How do you monetize a "free" App without advertising? (Specifically interested in Shopify).

Thanks for any help.

2 Answers 2


If you release a good free app with no advertisements, the person/service that is actually being advertised is the app's creator.

If you do a really good/useful app and give it away for free (putting your name on it), then you will have a return in terms of company (or developer) prestige.

The monetary incentive of this will be that the company name will be spread and known and the company/developer can acquire more clients that probably will buy other paid services.

  • Good point. I've seen this before, where they will have the free app, then a completely different paid app that is not the same, but might be related in some way. Apr 30, 2015 at 11:11

Apps and services like dropbox are not actually free but freemium: free Apps designed to fall short as soon as you start to use them seriously, forcing you to upgrade to the paid version.

The free plan of Shopify is free but charges you a percentage of your sales.

And finally, apps like TripAdvisor or Facebook are free for common users, but they have paid services for professional users (promotion of your business, access to user demographics...)

Always rememember that if a service is free for you, usually it is because you are the one being sold.

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