Product management · Feature Development

What's your experience with feature gating?

Anonymous

May 3rd, 2015

We're toying with the concept of feature-gating - that is requiring people to take an action to "unlock" a certain feature. Pretty standard in games, but curious if others have done it with non-games and what your experience has been as far as effectiveness? I do understand "it depends" on what your require people to do, so I'm asking what has and hasn't worked.

Marshall Eisenberg Product Strategy Manager at Netformx

May 3rd, 2015

Lucas, In our experience, it's difficult to give people a taste and then take it away. It's not been an effective way to get people to buy into your overall strategy. I found its better to show them a complete solution for a duration of time and then take it all away completely. If they buy into your value proposition, they will buy into your product. Imagine you test drive a car that can only make a limited number of right turns. How would you feel about the vendor offering you the trial? Sent from my iPhone

George Calvert

May 4th, 2015

Beyond games, I've seen this applied effectively when the feature is a discount for merchandise on an ecommerce site and the gate is some level of word-of-mouth promotion. 

Personally, I see that freemium (or, more generally, any tiered pricing scheme) is a form of feature-gating.  What makes best sense really does come down to the perceived value/benefit of the addtional features, the cost/trade for them and the profile of your typical customer.