When I fired up Feedly (my RSS reader of choice) this morning I was greeted by a blue banner that was introducing the upcoming Feedly Pro with a price tag of $5 per month or a special time limited deal of $99.00 for a lifetime subscription.
So what could we expect for the $5 subscription when it finally goes live? Well not much really. At this point there are four things that are a part of the subscription package: HTTPS access, search of your RSS feeds, tighter Evernote integration, and access to Premium support.
Now to be honest my first reaction to this was … really … what kind of crap is this. The reaction from the wider tech bloggers wasn’t much better with many pointing out that something like HTTPS access (which is meant to provide a sense of security for the user) should be a default for the service, not something that you pay for.
Needless to say, and probably like a lot of other Feedly users, I started looking at my options once again for usable RSS readers; because really I didn’t see the point of having to pay for what I think are needed options and should be available by default.
At some point though during the time I was importing my OPML file to a couple of other RSS reader services I started thinking about this whole thing a little deeper. Sure it’s easy to get a little pissed off at first blush over being asked to pay for things that we might think of as being default options for a service; but what if that subscription fee isn’t really for these so-called options.
The fact is that running a service like Feedly costs money. There are servers to pay for, there are employees who need to get paid, and there are customers who want more features and faster service. This all costs money, lots of it probably, and not all of it can come from the minuscule amount of Amazon ads we see on any given day in Feedly.
So let’s, just for the moment, take out the fact that Feedly is couching this subscription service as something that is ‘features’ that you are paying for. What if Feedly had said look folks, running this service, and picking up where Google Reader abandoned you, cost money. What would you think of being able to show your support by picking up a $5 a month subscription?
I think that if they had put it that way to their service users we wouldn’t be seeing the unreasonable reaction to the subscription service that we are seeing right now. I know for myself that once I started looking at it this way being able to say thanks to the Feedly team for all the work that they have done to date to bring us a great service $5 a month seems like a really good deal. Any new features they decide to bring us is only an added bonus.
So I don’t know about you but as soon as I can I’ll be signing up for their (misnamed IMO) Pro service and using that as a way to say thank you.
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