The term “in-app” describes any activity or feature that takes place inside a mobile app, with the aim of enhancing user engagement and experience.

What is “in-app”?

What is in-app?

The term “in-app” can be used to describe any activity, feature, or content accessed inside a mobile application – as opposed to those that take place on a web browser or elsewhere. 

In-app functionalities are designed to enhance user engagement, offer convenience, and provide a seamless experience where the user doesn’t have to leave the app environment. From advertising to purchases, events, notifications, and feedback, in-app features allow marketers to interact with users in a personalized and immersive setting. 

Common in-app activities

In-app advertising

In-app advertising refers to ads displayed within a mobile app. These can range from simple banner ads and interstitials to more sophisticated formats, like rewarded videos and native advertising. 

The key advantage of in-app advertising lies in the ability to personalize it: marketers can target users based on their interests, app usage patterns, preferences, and behavior. For instance, an ad for a fitness app might appear within a health and wellness app, directly reaching individuals who have shown an interest in keeping healthy. 

In-app advertising is a major revenue stream for app publishers, as advertisers pay them for the space based on the number of impressions or engagements their ad receives.

In-app purchases (IAP)

In-app purchases (IAPs) allow users to buy goods or services within an app. These purchases can be consumables (like in-game currency), non-consumables (like the option to remove ads), or subscriptions that unlock premium content or features. IAPs provide a direct revenue stream for both developers and marketers. At the same time, they can enhance the user experience by adding to or improving the app’s core functionality.

In-app events

In-app events are activities or milestones within an app, such as completing a level in a game, attending a virtual event, or achieving a personal best in a fitness app. These events help engage and retain users by providing a sense of progress and accomplishment. Marketers can use in-app events to trigger personalized communications or rewards, encouraging continued app usage and loyalty.

In-app notifications (In-app messaging)

In-app notifications are messages that appear while a user is actively using the app. They can be used to let users know about new features, promotions, or in-app events, helping to boost engagement and encourage the user to take specific actions within the app. 

Unlike push notifications, which can be sent any time, in-app messages only reach users when they’re engaged with the app, ensuring high visibility. 

In-app feedback

In-app feedback mechanisms allow users to provide comments or report issues directly within the app. This direct line of communication between users and developers or marketers is invaluable for improving app quality, user satisfaction, and engagement. Feedback can take the form of surveys, feedback forms, or interactive prompts that encourage users to share their experiences and suggestions.

Key takeaways

  1. The term “in-app” describes any activity, feature, or content accessed within a mobile app, aimed at enhancing user engagement and offering a seamless experience.
  2. In-app advertising targets users with ads based on their app usage and behavior, offering a high degree of personalization for marketers and a key revenue stream for app publishers.
  3. In-app purchases enable users to buy goods or services directly within an app, providing a direct revenue stream and enhancing the user experience.
  4. In-app events engage users by marking achievements or milestones, encouraging continued engagement and app loyalty.
  5. In-app notifications deliver messages to users while they’re active within the app, ensuring high visibility and engagement.
  6. In-app feedback allows users to communicate directly with app developers or marketers, providing valuable insights for app improvement and user satisfaction.
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