I am developing a new application (web + mobile) that is based on anonymity and requires a large audience to be interesting. People will be in direct contact with each other (one by one), but initially they would not know anything about themselves. It can be seen as a kind of game with scope to real life and people.
Optimally, I would like to allow anyone to use the application without restrictions. Ask them for basic information, such as the language they speak and where they are, and then let them roam. On the other hand, I want users of the app to take its purpose seriously and not abuse it for their agenda / spam to annoy legitimate users. I still don't know if it will be a real problem or not.
Since the app is based on anonymity, I find it strange to ask people to sign up for an account right away. My goal is to allow you to continue using the same device anonymously. Later, when they want to use more devices, they can sign up to keep the account.
Not to mention that any type of registration with email or social providers is a difficult method of identification. For persistence purposes, it is sufficient.
Probably the closest to the identity of the person today is a mobile phone. I can send a single text message with code just to verify they own it and keep that phone number in some database and block access if someone else tries to use the same number on a different device. Burner phones make it a bit difficult, but I like to think that not everyone lives in American spy movies 🙂
Here comes my first question. Is requesting a phone number considered part of a bad user experience? Especially when it's kind of an experimental app. Could you alienate potentially "good" people? Of course, an explanation of the reasons would be necessary, but that is probably difficult to achieve in a discreet manner.
Identity by payment
The application will generally not be free. I'm still not decided on the specific monetization model. Ideas are primarily based on a one-time or credit-like fee to spend with use.
Either way, paying for something seems to establish a kind of person identity. I'm not talking about the credit card number, it's probably too easy to get another one (less easy than email or FB account). I like to think that if a user decides to pay, they really want to use the application. Of course, some people may find the app a good platform for their type of agenda and pay as well, so it's far from the definitive solution.
However, the problem of paying before you can try the service could be a motivation to never try it. That especially applies to one-time payments. It would require a clearly defined money back guarantee for a limited time. With the credit solution, it is probably better if they can get the money out of the wallet.
Another problem is that it would require credit card payment and you would have to opt out of receiving modern methods like PayPal, BitCoin, PaySafeCard and the like as they are too easy to duplicate. That's just a weird aspect considering the anonymity focus of the app.
So the next question. Could you request a payment immediately considered better than asking for a mobile phone number?
Combination of both?
In conclusion, both methods can have an apparent impact on conversions, and either method is bulletproof. Would it make any sense to allow the user to choose the preferred method? I mean they will have to pay sometime anyway, but if I can verify them with phone numbers and declare some kind of person identity, then I can provide a free trial before they have to pay. Could this approach be useful?