On the same day Google Android launched a revamped, web-based Android Market, Research in Motion quietly announced Blackberry App World 2.1, an app-store update that introduces an in-app revenue source for developers.
The Blackberry Payment Service SDK lets developers program apps that generate revenue when a user buys virtual goods during play, like with iOS versions of Farmville or Angry Birds. These apps usually encourage a user to download the app for free, but the developer makes money by charging users to unlock features or play for longer periods of time.
According to a recent Appcelerator/IDC study on the state of mobile development, developers were shifting away from “free brand affinity apps” (those quick-and-dirty 99-cent apps) and into the in-app payment model, where users pay to access more features within an app.
“Inevitably, in-app payments will surpass direct app store sales, hard to say when but in the next 1-2 years certainly,” said Scott Schwarzhoff, VP of marketing at Appcelerator, in an interview with PCMag yesterday.
Developers will also be able to manage their virtual goods through the BlackBerry App World Vendor Portal, with a reporting feature that tracks purchases and payments of their goods.
Distimo, an app store analytics firm, reported in January that BlackBerry App World tripled its offering last year to 18,000 apps, making it the fourth-largest app store behind Apple’s App Store, Android Market, and Nokia’s Ovi Store.
Check out PCMag’s list of the 10 best free Blackberry games.