Tapjoy, me, and violating TOS.

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Cuadros started out as a native iOS app. At the time, I used Tapjoy for monetizing and to provide some of the back-end functionality. I have never been a big fan of their interstitials ads. Some are very long and mostly videos. But as rewarded videos they are great.

What people might not know about Tapjoy is that they also provide other free services when you monetize with them. They can keep track of your virtual currency. You can send them substractions and additions and they can also deposit any video rewards directly to the user.

They have some very cool analytics that I have never seen in any analytics package. Some examples of this are that they have retention curves and categorization of users based on expected return.

You can also target your users with messages (non-advertising in-game alerts) based on tags, parameters, segments or events. You set up these alerts by uploading static images and then overlay buttons over them in the control panel. These alerts can be also localized and the API will display the appropriate one based on locale. They even do push notification that you can set up to run on the same parameters I mentioned above.

All of this sounds like an advertisement, but I promise I am not getting paid for this, Tapjoy will probably never read this, and I am probably violating TOS.

Well going back to the main story. I didn’t regularly reach the threshold for payment disbursement, but they allow you to transfer whatever amount for use in incentivized advertising campaigns. So that is what I use to do.

Recently I have been getting e-mails from Tapjoy that my advertising campaign was coming to an end because I only had $4.56 in the account. I have been ignoring these e-mails because in my head I don’t use Tapjoy. When I moved my apps to Corona they did not have a Tapjoy plugin available and I wanted to avoid the mistake I did in Marmalade where I felt compelled to support a half-dozen plugins that I had created and provided for free.

At the same time, I was getting strange support ticket. Some were about how they downloaded the apps to get diamonds but still like the game and others about how they expected x amount of virtual currency but got nothing.  I would say thank you for the first and sorry to the second and then I would give them a few hundred virtual currencies in my game for their troubles. Although I knew that the virtual currency they were talking about had nothing to do with my game.

Everything clicked about a week ago. I wondered if the Tapjoy campaign was still running. This would explain both the e-mails about my campaign running out of money and players feedback that they were not getting their virtual currency. Since Tapjoy is not integrated into my apps the people who downloaded my apps for virtual currency would not get their virtual currency.

I turned off the campaign and I created a very simple plugin in case I ever want to turn it back on. I also documented the creation of the plugin on youtube.

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