AppStori is a crowdsourcing and funding platform for great mobile apps.

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AppStori

What is Appstori (and more FAQs)?

AppStori is a crowdsourcing and funding platform that connects mobile app consumers with developers before an app hits the app store. At the core, we believe that better apps will come to market through a collaborative "dialog" between developers and consumers. On AppStori, developers can raise funds, find beta testers, build an audience, advertise their needs and wants, and create an overall "Stori", allowing friends, family, and consumers to be part of the team that brings an app to market. Likewise, consumers and mobile app enthusiasts can join in and participate in the creation of mobile apps in a way that has never been done before. Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the AppStori platform:

For Consumers

How do I participate as a consumer of mobile apps?

It’s simple. Navigate the site to watch and read the stories from teams who are trying to make the world a better place (or at least more fun). When you see something you like, you can post comments, exchange feedback and, of course, make a contribution to help the team realize its vision.

How can I make a contribution?

When you find a team or an app that you’d like to back, click the “contribute” button. Depending on the amount, each team offers different benefits (see below). Once you identify the level of your participation, you click on the amount and you will be directed to Amazon Payments, where you can easily create an account and initiate the payment.

What are “benefits” posted by project teams?

Benefits are a way for a team to say “thank you” for your contribution. They can vary from t-shirts to something specifically related to the app. Remember, a contribution is a donation that you are making with no expectation or right to an economic return.

What happens to my contribution if the project does not meet its funding target within its stated timeline?

If a project is unable to meet its funding goal in a timely manner, no money ever exchanges hands. Since teams ask for an amount based on the needs of the project they are about to undertake, it is assumed that the project can’t go forward if the goal is not met. (ie, it’s all or nothing).

Is there a way to let the world know that I’m funding a great mobile app idea?

Absolutely, and thanks for asking. Project creators love it when you pass the word on. Here are some ways you can spread the word:

I want to stay up to date on a particular project, but I'm not really ready to contribute yet.
Can I do this?

Yes you can! All you have to do is go to the details of a project you like and click on the "Follow" button.

What does it mean to follow a project and why should I?

Follow allows you to stay informed on the progress of a particular project. If you are not sure that you are ready to contribute yet, and want to see how things pan out, you may want to follow a particular project so you can stay informed with the progress of the campaign and the project team. As a follower of a project you will receive updates on key project events including: whenever the team posts a new blog, key milestones, campaign progress, and reminders when the project is near completion. We think it's a great way to show support for the team even if you're not quite ready to contribute.

How come I'm also listed as a follower, all I did was contribute?

Contributors are given the choice whether or not they want to keep informed on progress of the team or project (i.e. Follow) at the time of contribution. If you do not want this, you can click the "Unfollow" button on the project details page.

I really like a project and I'd like to get involved beyond just contributing. Can I offer my services to a team?

Yes, well sometimes... Project teams who are looking for help can post "Want Ads" on their Stori. These requests allow you to communicate directly with the team by answering their request and sending them a personalized message with your background and other information.

How can I stay updated on the latest AppStori projects?

There are lots of ways to stay up to date on all the latest projects.You can subscribe to our email newsletter by registering or submitting your email in the footer of the home page, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/appstori and like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ appstori. We always love hearing from you, so please feel free to drop us a note at support@appstori.com

I want to Beta Test one of the apps listed on AppStori, can I?

Absolutely ! (well, most of the time) All project listers are given the ability to accept applications for beta testers for their apps. Projects that have chosen to accept beta testers will have a blue badge on their widget, and a big blue button on their project page that says “Beta Test this App”. Once you click on the button you will be able to apply to be a beta tester for that app. It’s pretty easy, and it shows the project team that you support what they are working on.

What is a beta tester?

A Beta tester is someone who works with the developers to help them get their product “right”. A beta tester will often have access to early builds of a product and be asked to provide feedback on their experience. Sometimes, a beta tester can even just be given a potential design, or a new idea, and will be asked for his/her opinion. A beta tester can also be considered an “insider” in the creative and development process. It is common for a beta tester to provide detailed feedback on their likes, dislikes, wants, and needs for the product they are testing. A good beta tester will give helpful feedback so that the developer can better the product. BTW, one of the best parts of being a beta tester is to have your feedback be part of the final product.

Can I apply to be a beta tester for more than one app?

App-solutely! AppStori encourages users to apply to many projects. What might not be a fit for one, may be an exact fit for another. Plus, it lets the team know that you like what they are doing and that you want to be a part of their success.

I see a big blue B next to my picture on my profile, what does that mean?

That badge is a sign of honor in the world of AppStori. Well, maybe… but it means that you are a beta tester. Users who have applied to be a beta tester for at least one project get the big blue “B” next to their name.

Where can I see a list of projects that I have applied to be a beta tester for?

Well, there are two ways you can find out this information. The first is on your profile page. There will be a list of projects that you have applied to on the right of the screen. This way you and others know that you are an valuable member of the AppStori community. The other way is to search you email. Each time you apply to be an beta tester for an app you will get an email confirmation of your interest.

When will I find out if I’ve been selected as a beta tester for an app that I applied to?

The answer to this question is…it depends. Each team will let you know according to their own beta testing schedule. You can post their comment board if you have not heard from them for a few days. Also, keep an eye out for blog posts regarding their progress. They will sometimes mention their progress with respect to beta testing the app.

I applied to be a beta tester for a project, and now I’m getting updates on the blog posts and the progress of the campaign. I didn’t ask for this, but it’s great!

I don’t think that’s actually a question, but every beta tester automatically follows a project. This allows you to stay up to date with the teams and projects that you are interested in. It also keeps you engaged with the team so you are up to speed on their progress when the contact you on the status of your application.

I don’t want to receive updates on a project that I applied to be a beta tester for. Can I unsubscribe to the updates?

Yes, you can. Just log in, and go the the project detail page of the app you want to unsubscribe from. From there you can click the Unfollow button to unsubscribe from updates to that project.

For Project Creators

How can AppStori help me realize my vision for the next great app?

AppStori allows project creators to engage with a community of mobile enthusiasts who are seeking to discover apps to back, through financial contributions, product feedback and early adoption. Think of it as a platform that empowers you and your audience to engage, way before you arrive at the app store.

What are the requirements to get listed?

Project creators apply to AppStori by clicking “Post an AppStori” with some basic information on their vision and team for pre-approval, which usually happens within 24 hours. Our high-level requirements are:

These rules ensure that we keep a focused community and the best experience for all involved. Other requirements can be found through our payments provider at https://payments.amazon.com/sdui/ sdui/about?nodeId=6023

The AppStori Review Board selects submissions based on the idea, the team and the team’s commitment to making the app become a reality. Unfortunately, since we are seeking the best projects, not all apps are approved. Once pre-approved, a project team can move forward with the submission process, and upload content including videos, photos, text and blog posts. Upon final submission and approval, voila, the project is ready to be discovered by the AppStori community.

Does it cost anything to get listed?

Listing on AppStori is free, once approved. If you’re successful in reaching your funding goal, Amazon Payments and AppStori deduct transaction fees. AppStori collects 7% commission only if the project is successful. Amazon takes an average of 2-3%. For details on Amazon’s fees see this link.

What things can I do to enhance engagement with the community so that I can meet my funding goals?

There are a series of things you can do to have the best experience:

Can I submit more than one project?

AppStori’s policy is that a member of a listed project team is not permitted to have more than one active posting up at a time. In addition, a period of 30 days must lapse between posting periods.

Can I submit my project to another crowd-funding platform at the same time?

We don’t think it’s a good idea to submit across multiple platforms for a couple reasons. One, AppStori is more than just about financial support. It’s about having a community that can offer feedback, support and early adoption so that you can be discovered before you’re officially “out there”. Two, you’re best served leveraging your social network through a single funding campaign. Otherwise, you are likely to dilute the impact of your efforts. Three, effectively managing one community is hard enough. Multiple platforms and communities will add additional complexities that will divert your efforts from what really matters, your App.

When do I receive contributed funds?

Your team only receives funds when the funding target has been met within the required timeline (sorry, but if it has not been met, contributions do not transfer to your Amazon account). Once you’ve reach your funding target, contributions are transferred to your Amazon Payments account, net of fees to Amazon Payments and AppStori. This can take up to 14 days from the end of your project.

What happens if contributions exceed my funding target?

For any contributions that exceed your target within the timeline, your Amazon account will be credited with these amounts, net of all fees, as they are contributed.

How do I tell the world that I love AppStori?

With words Or a t-shirt. Drop us a note and we’ll check the closet for you. In addition to that, please spread the word in whatever way you can. We think enabling mobile innovation is extremely important and we’d be grateful if you help us get the word out. Please like us on Facebook at facebook.com/ appstori, Tweet us to your followers, Follow us on twitter (twitter.com/appstori) and email your friends.

What does it mean to follow a project?

Follow allows users who are interested in your team and your app, but are not ready to contribute, to keep informed on your progress. When a user follows a project they get periodic email updates on a range of topics including: new blog posts, funding progress, key milestones, and reminders when the project is near completion. Project listers (including all members of the team) get updates when a new user follows your project. You can also see a list of all of your followers from your project details page.

Is there a way that I can use AppStori to ask for non-financial help? For example, can I ask for a developer, designer, or a beta tester?

Yes you can. You can post "Want Ads" in your Stori. These include everything from "We're looking for an IOS/Android developer" to "We need 25 beta testers", to "Help us design our logo". Each project gets three want ads that they can add to their project. Don't worry though. You can change them at any time by going to your Edit Stori page and click on the "Wanted" tab.

Is there a way for me to get beta testers for my app?

How great of you to ask. Yes, there is. Each project is offered can allow users to apply to be a beta tester for their app. When you set up your project, on the Wanted tab, there is a check box that will enable the functionality.

I haven’t even begun development on my project, can I still solicit beta testers?

Absolutely. In fact, that’s probably the best time. Building a database of qualified beta testers is not necessarily an easy task. The earlier you start soliciting testers, the greater the chance you will find those that meet your requirements.

I’m looking for a specific demographic of beta tester. How does AppStori help with this.

Beta testers are asked a series of five questions that will help you identify a pool that is relevant to your product. They are asked about their gender, their age, the devices that they can test on, and their experience in the industry.

How do I know when someone applies to be a beta tester for my app?

Every time someone applies to be a beta tester for your app your team will receive an email with information about that beta tester as well as a link to their profile. In addition, on your edit project screen, there is a summary of all of this information so you can see it all in one place.

Okay, I have a whole list of potential beta testers, what do I do now?

The first thing you may want to do is to think about what type of beta testers you are looking for? Male/Female? Young/Old? The answers to these questions will depend on your target demographic. You may also want to get some people who have experience in the industry, and others who have none. Once you have narrowed down your list, you will want to reach out to them. Users will share their email address with you so you can communicate with them directly. In addition to finding out more about your users, this will also give you a chance to build a relationship with your potential appvocates.

How long should I wait before accepting or rejecting a beta tester?

This is really up to you and your schedule. However, it is important to keep those that have applied informed of your schedule. While everyone knows that no all beta testers will be right for your project, they have reached out to you expressing interest in you app. Even if they are not right for a beta tester, they may be able to help in other ways such as providing feedback on potential designs, or just providing general feedback on the ides. The general rule of thumb is, be courteous, respectful, and if at all possible, accept the helping hand of those that believe in you and your idea.

Someone was a beta tester for our project, do I owe them anything in return?

Absolutely, not. However, it’s not out of line to send a sticker, t-shirt, or some other small token of appreciation for their help.

I want to ask a question of a beta tester that is not currently asked on the form, can I?

Well, the answer is yes…and no. At this point, the platform does not support custom questions. However, you can reach out to your beta test applicants directly and ask them the question yourself. Also, feel free to reach out to us if you have questions that should be asked, that are not. We love to get feedback.

What information will beta tester applicants be asked to provide?

Beta testers are asked for the following:

Note that with the exception of their email and platforms, all information is optional. This gives you the ability to segment your beta test according to your projected customer base.

My project funding period is over, Can I still use the platform to solicit beta testers?

Yes! Once you list on AppStori, your project will remain active for all to see. This means that you can still continue to build your community as you progress along in your development process, and even after it is released to the public.

I really don’t want to solicit beta testers for my app, do I have to?

No, you don’t. While we believe that inviting users to help you release the product, raises their engagement and increases the level of involvement of your growing community, you can disable this functionality by going to the “Wanted” tab in your Edit AppStori screen, and deselecting the Accept Beta Testers checkbox.

I think that I have enough beta testers for now, can I stop accepting more?

Can one really ever have enough beta testers? Actually, we think the answer is “no”. Building a database of users who are interested in helping you on your journey to the app store is never a bad thing. Who knows when you’ll want to test the next version? Or you want to test a new feature out. Having said that, you can disable this functionality by going to the “Wanted” tab in your Edit AppStori screen, and deselecting the Accept Beta Testers checkbox.

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