As Russia continues to move forward with its invasion of Ukraine, concern has grown and more and more people have found ways to get creative when it comes to offering their support. While donating to vetted organizations remains a viable and effective way to help, there are new options emerging in the age of technology as well. And as a mobile app marketing agency, we want to highlight the ways that companies are encouraging app users to offer their support from all corners of the globe. Specifically, Airbnb, Uber, and Etsy, are supporting Ukraine with their sites and mobile apps – offering individuals ways to put their mobile devices to work when it comes to offering humanitarian aid.
Airbnb – Free Lodging and “Virtual” Stays
In the midst of the unrest as people struggle to flee the country or secure their homes, people have wondered how to get monetary aid directly into the hands of Ukrainian victims. The answer came earlier this month when Airbnb users began to book stays at Ukrainian properties with no intention of visiting the country. A spokesperson for the company revealed that on March 2nd and 3rd, 61,000 nights were booked in Ukraine through the platform. The campaign began on social media, with organizers encouraging people to book stays with dates beginning as soon as possible so that the hosts would receive the payout more quickly. Since the movement began, many Ukrainian hosts and international “guests” have shared inspiring chat exchanges of well-wishes and promises to meet in a future, peaceful Kyiv.
Airbnb itself has also offered support for Ukranians fleeing the country in the form of free short stay accommodation. The company’s CEO announced on February 28th that Airbnb and Airbnb.org would be collaborating in order to provide up to 100,000 refugees a short term stay in Airbnb properties. The effort is being funded by Airbnb, Inc., donors to the Airbnb.org Refugee Fund, and the generosity of Hosts through Airbnb.org
Uber – Free Rides
Uber is giving its US users the opportunity to join in supporting Ukraine by using the Uber app to make donations to the International Rescue Committee. The company has also pledged to match up to $1 million in donations.
As a company, Uber has set up many free Uber ride options depending on the needs of the individuals. There are unlimited free rides from the Ukraine-Polish border to the cities of Lublin, in central Poland, and Rzeszow, in the southeast. There are also special codes available to receive free rides to and from the checkpoints of other Polish border cities and towns. Uber is also offering free transportation for migrant welcome center staff and for any cars delivering donated goods to different warehouses in Poland. Additionally, the company is working on helping Ukrainian refugees become Uber drivers in neighboring countries where the app is available as a means of income.
How to Monetize in the App Market: #3 In-App Purchases
Your app is a journey for users. Using In-App purchases to skip certain parts of the journey or get to the next level will be very enticing to your users. This is a monetization mobile marketing strategy that is often employed by gaming apps which provide users with various opportunities to spend $1-2 on certain exclusive perks only accessible through purchase.
Etsy – No Fee Selling
While Etsy does not have a service to offer up for free like Uber and Airbnb do, the site did its part in supporting Ukraine by canceling all balances owed to Etsy by all sellers based in Ukraine. These forgiven fees include listing, transaction, advertising, and more. This applied to Ukraine-based sellers across all Etsy marketplaces, including Etsy.com, Depop, and Reverb.
Individual buyers on Etsy are also pitching in by purchasing digital art from Ukraine-based listers so that the artists can receive money without having to worry about the costs and logistics of creating and shipping physical artwork.