Anyone using Realm Platform for a freemium app?


Just out of curiosity, is anyone using Realm Cloud in a freemium app? If so are you using it for all users, or just paying customers? What does your pricing model look like?

If you only provide it to paying customers, how do you handle when a user changes subscription status? Do you stop syncing data? Is there any support in realm to limit non-paying users somehow?


You can always change from a syncing realm to a local version - thats my approach to handling the free/premium changes.


Do you delete the data from Realm Cloud if the subscription expires? If the user has multiple devices and starts paying again how do you handle this?

One idea I am playing around with is to allow all users to sign in. This way I can keep track of all users and devices. However, only if the user is a paying customer it will be able to use realm cloud cross platform realtime sync and all user data will be in realm cloud.

If the user is a free user, I could possibly limit the user to only use a single device at a time, delete the data from Realm Cloud and instead use a separate simple file upload for backup for these users. When the user starts paying again, I would then copy the data back to realm cloud to resume sync. Does this sound like the approach you are using? Are you allowing non-paying users able to sign in?


1.) Yes. If the subscription expires, I copy all the data to a local realm, then remove from the cloud.
If they restart the sub, then I copy all the data to the cloud, then remove the local realm. I don’t handle the scenario when a user pays from another device - its too big hassle for a too low margin of users.
I have a popup, saying that all of the data will be synced again. Thats it.

2.) Exactly. The registration is on realm cloud, so i can see all of my users, but the other data is saved on a local realm. If they are upgrading to the pro version, then copy up, sync on. :slight_smile:
However, I have a one-time payment upgrade, so its easier on my app. Although, the monthly payments will be coming soon :wink:


Awesome! Thanks a lot @freeubi. Definitely sounds like the way to go, at least to start with.

So non paying users still sign up? How do you motivate this to these users? Do you have a separate backup mechanism for the free users?


Its simple: you can’t use the app without registration - or if you can, you can’t really access to anything.

In our case, after we put the “without registration mode” the app, we only experienced 3% increase of the users - its not worth it. Just put in an easy way to register :slight_smile:


I am just thinking that people would expect their data to be automatically backed up if they register. But there is ways around that. If all users are on Realm Cloud I could easily detect if a user is using multiple devices and add a dialog if more than one device is detected.

If I only allow one device at a time to make changes on the user data, I can simply upload the database file as a backup for free users, while paying customers can use multiple devices and web.

Thank you @freeubi! Your insights have helped me a lot :slight_smile:


No problem, feel to free ping me if you need help :slight_smile: