Big news this week as Instagram announced a major change in their Terms of Service that allows them to use your photos as advertisements. This NYT article does a great job of outlining exactly how the change will affect you. Worth noting is the fact that you cannot opt out!
It should come as no great surprise, after all. One could imagine this was the direction they would be headed after their acquisition by Facebook. It still hurts the community though. People love Instagram and it’s unfair to subject them to these changes for the sake of profit. Unfortunately that’s the business model they’ve had to pursue under Facebook.
Everyone on the Glassboard team has had experience with ad-based revenue models, and while they may work for some companies it’s not something we ever want to revisit.
I’ll say it again to be clear: Glassboard will never sell your photos for any reason. We like how our freemium model has been going and we’re going to stick with that approach.
There has been no shortage of people using Glassboard who have asked, “Ok, you’ve got this great app. How are you going to make money?” It’s nice to know that people love the app enough that they WANT to give us money. We like hearing it.
Back in June, Brent Simmons alluded to our soon to exist business model. Now we’re going on the record to let you know that it is about to come to fruition. Here’s the gist:
- In the near future (i.e., the next few months or so, give or take a few weeks), we will be rolling out a premium version of Glassboard. It will have some neat features that include some things we’ve heard a lot of requests for.
- Since this is the way we’ll be bringing in dough, it also means that 1. We will not show ads, and 2. We won’t be selling your data.
- The base version of the app will stay free.
We’re very excited to offer both a free version for everyone to use, and also a very robust, feature-rich version of Glassboard for those who decide they’d like more from the app. It’s win-win!
Got any questions? Want to tell us how you’re using Glassboard? Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yesterday I blogged about disgruntled employees, made some Jerry Maguire references (I am NOT stopping until someone tells me to), and mentioned the possibility that Glassboard is moving towards a freemium model.
This last fact got quite a bit of attention yesterday, because folks found it refreshingly honest to have us admit that we’re still exploring how we’re going to
take over the world make money. The truth is, we’ve built Glassboard from the beginning as a freemium service, modeled after other well known freemium services like Dropbox or Evernote. And in the spirit of a freemium model, we believe that you need to be able to use the service for free to get an appreciation for what the service does for you. Where we’re undecided is where to draw the line between freemium and paid.
Its a tough line to draw. We want to encourage everyone in the world to use our service, but as soon as we draw that line, we are, by design, alienating users. So how do you draw the line for only those users who are willing to pay and not push away others?
Sure, we could take the stance that anyone who uses the service should pay. But the value of our business is defined in part by Metcalfe’s law – which simply stated means: more people on the network benefits everyone.
We could take the stance that no one should pay and serve ads in the app. But as we’ve stated before, we’re not fans of that model.
So we’ve got some other ideas, but nothing formalized yet. But given the reaction to yesterday’s post, we be sure to keep you posted. If you have ideas, let us know in the comments!
Now if there was only a button in the app that said, “I’m willing to pay for this service”… wait, that gives me an idea….