Friends Near and Afar

Friends Near and Afar, Letters we Share and Cherish.

As much as 25 % MORE of your Coins or Stamp purchases

...can end up reaching our app developers. Simple. No gimmicks. For real.

How? Read and learn, the basic idea is to avoid the 30 % Commissions charged by the giant corporate App Stores. Instead of Apple, Inc. or Google's parent Alphabet, Inc. keeping a large chunk of our purchases value, MORE of it goes to the ones providing us with a valuable service.

Slowly Communications, the creators of the award winning Slowly app for pen pals friendships. A small company, started just 3 years ago, and run with passion by a small and dedicated team.

If you are already a user, you know why we appreciate and love the product and the company. And why we could do a small change and provide them more of any purchases of their Merchandise (stamps, stamp sets) or Services (Plus! memberships) we make.

The Key — Reduce the Middleman's Cut of our purchases

In a comment in another Topic, very pertinent, Reddit user hobbes8548 wrote :

Are the prices the same on the Web version as on the App Store version? Normally companies mark up the price on the App Store because they take a higher cut on all transactions. So sometimes it can be more economical for the buyer and also more profitable for the developer to purchase directly from them.

And that was an interesting question — so I wrote a Direct Message to Team Slowly at Twitter, and received a reply this morning :

I am glad that you asked. Yes, please go to the web version to purchase if you would like to support Slowly because we will get a higher net payment. At the moment, we are not going to provide a lower payment fee for the web version because we would like to keep the price the same on all platforms.

YES — Slowly does receive more money from ANY purchases done via the WEB client (aka web mode), since there are NO App Stores with 30% commissions involved.

Who is Stripe ? What does it charge for their processing ?

The WEB Client purchases use the US based payment processor called Stripe -– whose Pricing page explains Costs as :

Access a complete payments platform with simple, pay-as-you-go pricing

2.9% + C$0.30 per successful card charge

Which is MUCH lower than the big corp app stores.

Examples of typical Slowly purchases, Calculations :

a. 500 Slowly coins package at the Canadian market pricing of CAD 9.99

App Store net payment to Slowly = 9.99 * 0.70 = CAD 6.99 net

WEB Client, Stripe payment to Slowly = 9.99 * 0.971 – 0.30 = CAD 9.40 net

A Difference of CAD 2.41 for the Stripe payment option. 24.1 % more of the Sale value reaches Slowly.

[ images shows Web client, prices in US Dollar. Equivalent Canadian Dollar prices used here for calculations. These are the amounts listed in the CA market at the App Stores ]

And for Large value purchases, even more remains

b. Slowly PLUS! one year membership sign up, at Canadian market price of CAD 59.99

App Store net payment to Slowly = 59.99 * 0.70 = CAD 39.19 net

WEB client, Stripe payment to Slowly = 59.99 * 0.971 – 0.30 = CAD 54.07 net

A Difference of CAD 14.88 for the Stripe payment option. 26.6 % more of the Sale value reaches Slowly.

What does it take from the User side ?

Just a small amount of data entry. App Store sales are quick since they keep your customer data and payment cards info in their servers.

For Stripe payments via the Slowly Web Client, you will need to fill in this info. But it's worth it, don't you think?

Thank you to Slowly Team Twitter for the prompt reply, and to Hobbes8548 for the question that started this ball rolling.

App Stores Commissions are now in the News

“Apple Promotes Research It Commissioned Defending App Store’s Fee Structure Ahead of Congressional Hearing” – Variety article, partial quote :

Apple is publicizing a study it commissioned looking at the App Store’s fees and terms — as the tech giant tries to make the case that its practices are in line with the rest of the industry.

The upshot? Not surprisingly, the report says, Apple takes a cut from app developers that’s akin to rival app stores. But, according to critics, just because a 30% commission has become the de facto standard doesn’t make it fair.

“‘Fortnite’ Looks to Sidestep Apple, Google App Store Fees With 20% Discount for Direct Payment”– Variety article

Epic Games is trying to skirt the 30% revenue cut taken by Apple’s App Store and Google Play — announcing a 20% discount to “Fortnite” players who purchase the game’s virtual currency directly from Epic, instead of from Apple or Google.

“If Apple or Google lower their fees on payments in the future, Epic will pass along the savings to you,” the company said in announcing the mobile direct-payment option Thursday.

Famous Last Words

Special Thank You to the folks behind this wonderful app — all the hard working people at Slowly Communications.

Letters we share, with pen pals all over the World, via the magic of the Slowly App. A modern day take in the traditional penpal experience.

Come and join us, if you are not yet using Slowly.

Follow Blog via your Fediverse/Mastodon account :

This page created entirely in MarkDown language. Thank you for reading, feel free to comment about this post – reach me at my Koyu account.

... or post a comment in the Reddit thread for it here.

A new and Puzzling Stamp Set

Recently release, the interesting and colourful new Slowly Stamp set called “Gírias Brasileiras” has left many people a bit puzzled.

Even fluent Portuguese speakers, since some of the expressions depicted on the stamps are not that common in the language. Thanks to a gentle fellow Redditor called Draculalien, we now have an Explainer.


Starting the day, Friday morning

And a popup showed when loading the Slowly pen pals correspondence app. A banner image, followed by some details and finally a link to this Promotion page.

Share an Instagram Story & Get 200 Coins 💰

July 30 is the International Friendship Day. How about introducing your best Slowly pen pals to the world? Post an IG story and tag @slowlyapp. You will get 200 Slowly Coins for free! (See instructions below)


How to get stamps for countries missing in your Collection?

There are a few different ways. So, I thought of making a post and sharing some tips and notes. [ originally posted as a topic on Reddit ]

I can think of 3 good Options or methods to get those missing stamps — some are faster and easier, as long as you have the Slowly Coins to fund the purchase.


Vacation notice I sent to my penpals.

Had been busy with a lot of reading, writing, research and other work in a new project in my internet journey.

Very recently I had this good phase, with lots of ideas and creativity, but that was focused into my Tech blog and my participation in some Fediverse instances.

Letters had been accumulating on my inbox, as I prefer not to open a letter until I am ready and able to respond to it, immediately and with proper care, time, attention.

Since days were passing and I wasn't getting the energy to write these replies, I felt I needed a vacation from Slowly, after one year of intense usage.

Thought of sharing the open letter I sent, warning my penpals I was taking some time off. Maybe useful or inspiring someone else in similar circumstances? Here it goes then.


To Find Partner a Slowly Users Guide, Part 3

Selecting the people we will correspond with is one of the best ways to start on the path of exploring the world of Pen pals correspondence.

This is the THIRD part of my Slowly User's Manual for finding good pen pals. See the Part 1 Page here, and Part 2 Page here as they both contains relevant information, before you start on this page. Thank you!


To Find Partner a Slowly Users Guide, Part 2

Selecting the people we will correspond with is one of the best ways to start on the path of exploring the world of Pen pals correspondence.

This is the SECOND part of my Slowly User's Manual for finding good pen pals. See the Part 1 Page here, as it contains relevant information, before you start on this page. Thank you!


Selecting the people we will correspond with

... is one of the best ways to start on the path of exploring the world of Pen pals correspondence.

This page is an enhanced version of a Guide originally posted at the Reddit sub for Slowly app users.

As this Blog allows for better formatting and presentation, this version is now being created and published.


We are losing many people.

Hello all, good evening. Sorry to bother you again, so soon after my last Topic. But I just received a letter from a friend from the UK, a pen pal, who I had last written this :

Dear A.,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well. I have been thinking about you, last time we wrote to each other you mentioned that your Father was in hospital, and I imagine how much that saddened and affected you. I had thought about it, but didn't want to intrude so I kept thinking of writing, and then leaving it.

It's a difficult moment, I pray that you are well and that things have improved for you and your family. Won't take too much of your time, but thought it was good to send a message, wishing you peace and health in this difficult time.

Have a good week,




Hello Kitty 45th Anniversary Stamps are impossible to get.

@Slowly Team — could those be added to Time Machine ?? Please ??

The image above is just a small sampler of the MANY Hello Kitty stamp sets — issued in 2019, for the 45th Anniversary, and ONLY in a few Asian countries.