When you first browsed Apple’s App Store a few weeks back and noticed the “Get” button, were you confused? You were, after all, accustom to the “Free” and pricing buttons, as well as the download icon. But, “Get?” Was Apple’s new terminology for free apps a psychological move to get us to download more? Initially, I thought so.
As a marketer, I’m always evaluating CTAs to determine the most actionable: “Get App Now,” “Download,” “Read For Free,” etc. The goal is to get someone to click/tap on that CTA to drive some type of conversion. In Apple’s case, it’s a download. Without much thought, I figured Apple knew users were so used to seeing “Free” that they’d mix it up a bit.
But that really isn’t what happened. The tweak in terminology likely had more to do with proactive legal compliance than anything else.
One problem with the “Free” terminology is the apps aren’t always free. Freemium apps that are try-before-you-buy dominate the App Store. The revenue generated from freemium apps are equal to, if not surpass, that of paid apps. I can attest that LetterSlider 2.0, a freemium app, has generated more revenue than LetterSlider’s paid version.
Freemium apps allow users to download an app, then unlock additional features through an in-app purchase. The app is free and so is all the functionality, but on a limited basis. Limitations are removed once the app is paid for.
Google announced in July that it would stop calling apps with in-app purchases “Free.” Instead, they’ve changed their button label to “Install.” This was in response to the European Commission’s request that Apple and Google do a better job informing customers that apps with in-app purchases really aren’t free.
Apple avoided following in Google’s footsteps by labeling their button “Get” instead of “Install” — they wouldn’t want Google to feel like they were trendsetters. “Get” fits nicely on the button though, whereas “Install” or “Download” take up too much space, or are just too technical sounding.