Following in the footsteps of SwiftKey, third-party keyboard maker Fleksy has announced it is moving to a freemium model. Users on iOS and Android will be able to pick up the keyboard for free.
Customers who bought Fleksy before the change in the business model will receive $8 (£5) in themes and extensions. This is how Fleksy plans to make money from now on, by creating a platform on the keyboard.
The only problem with the extensions is they will only work for other Fleksy users, which is a bit of an issue considering the amount of platforms adopting different variations of GIF, emoji and video formats.
Facebook Messenger has its own platform for video, GIF and emoji, different to what Fleksy will support. This could become an issue due to the amount of overrides different platforms have to get through to have their own emojis work.
The freemium model seems to work much better than the pay-once model, especially with the small number of iOS and Android users willing to spend money upfront for an app. Minuum also went freemium a few months ago, following a launch on iOS.
Swype is one of the last major keyboard providers on both iOS and Android that costs money, instead of offering emojis and themes. The company has not commented on moving to a freemium platform.