This past week, Pushbullet has found themselves in the news quite a bit. First off, announcing the Pushbullet Pro plan. Which did take a way a few of the “free” features and put them in the paid version which will cost you $5/month or $40/year. And that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. However, we have to remember that Pushbullet is a company and they need to make money (they also stated that incorporating ads would hinder user experience). So the Pushbullet team took to Reddit and held an AMA last night, where they talked about the reasoning behind the Pro Plan, and they also announced Tablet SMS Support coming soon.
One thing that was announced during this AMA was Tablet SMS Support. Now while Pushbullet pro doesn’t go into effect until December 1st, Tablet SMS started rolling out last night. Free users of Pushbullet will get 100 monthly Pushbullet SMS Messages. This way users can try out the service and see if they like it before signing up for the pro version of Pushbullet.
The biggest reason for Pushbullet to start charging was that they needed to monetize their service, or shut it down. You can only have a service running, that’s not making money, for so long. The team did say that they should have rolled out pro accounts quite a while ago. When it came to the price, Pushbullet set themselves at $5, because they looked at other services out there like MightyText and Pocket, both of which are $5/month. Pushbullet did also say there will be more pro features coming in the next few months. Which should indeed make that $5/month or $40/year a bit more reasonable. Now users on Reddit did argue that $1/month would be more reasonable. They also talked about LastPass being a good example, who currently sells their pro plan for $1/month or $12/year. However, Pushbullet did state that the lower the price is, the more people they’d need to sign up to turn a profit. And when it came to tiered plans, the team thought that was a bit too complicated.
During this AMA on Reddit, there were some pretty good ideas floated around. One of which was a lower intro price, which actually went down positively with the Pushbullet team. Another was a student discount, like so many other services and stores offer. Going from a free app to a paid app is always tough work. Especially when it’s a service as popular as Pushbullet. But they should be alright in the long run.