An In-App-Purchase is some kind of extra content or subscription that users can buy in apps on their mobile devices.
Users typically make in-app purchases in order to access additional content or features in an app such as
- restricted levels
- virtual currencies
- special characters
The purchasing process is completed directly from within the app and is seamless to the user in most cases. The mobile platform provider is facilitating the purchasing process and is therefore taking a share of the money spent, with the rest going to the developer.
Many In-App-Purchases occur in mobile games, where users are able to purchase virtual goods for the game through the app itself. It provides a new measure of profitability for apps that are often free or very inexpensive.