PhotoPoint reveals final pricing!|
(Friday, April 27, 2001 - 17:26 EDT)
Introductory discount to expire soon...
We told you on April 7th about plans from online photofinisher PhotoPoint.com to institute charges for its photo-sharing service and noted then that the company had yet to reveal its final pricing plan, showing only an 'introductory discount'. The company has now revealed what the eventual price will be for membership in an email sent out in the middle of this week.
The introductory offer of a one-year membership including 25 free prints for $19.95, or a membership with no free prints for $9.95 expires at the end of this month. Effective May 1st, the membership fee will be raised from $19.95 to $29.95, and the number of photos that can be stored in an account without extra charges will be dropped from 1000 to 500. Previously, the company only specified a number of photos per account, however this has also been clarified now, with a note that the introductory offer membership "includes 500MB of storage or approximately 1000 photos". Presumably the same standard of 0.5MB/photo is being applied to all accounts, so from May 1st the standard account size will be 250MB.
The company notes that 'a more limited membership will still be available for $19.95' - it doesn't however specify what that membership will be. (Our guess is that it will be the equivalent of the 'membership with no free prints' mentioned previously, which is currently $9.95 under the introductory offer - we could be wrong here, however, as we're only guessing).
The email continues to note that the service will still be available to use without charge, however the restrictions are such that many people will look elsewhere for free photo sharing. Only 10 images will be able to be stored in a free account, and features such as 'Print at Home' will be unavailable to non-paying members.
The full text of the email follows:
As you might have heard by now, PhotoPoint will begin charging for its service at the end of May. We've noticed that you have not signed up for full membership yet, and we wanted to remind you to do so - to take advantage of our introductory offer that expires April 30th. On May 1st, the Membership Plus price will increase to $29.95 per year.
People have asked us, "Why are you charging for PhotoPoint?" The decision to start charging was a very hard one. But the reality is that our service costs money to provide. If we didn't charge a fee (our introductory fee works out to less than two dollars a month) we simply could not continue the service.
While our plans originally called for advertising and reprints revenue to make the business profitable, the decline of the Internet advertising market has made that impractical. In addition, while many people order prints by mail, many more prefer to share them online or print them at home.
We believe you deserve to get real value for your dollars. For the past six months we have conducted surveys and talked directly with members to learn what people are looking for from an online photo company. We have built a full-service program based on value, not just storage, designed by users like you.
As a paying PhotoPoint Member, you can enjoy the current PhotoPoint features such as secure photo albums, online photo sharing and PicCheer photo postcards, plus:
If you sign up by April 30th, you can join for an entire year for a one-time charge of $19.95. On May 1st, the price for Membership Plus goes up to $29.95, and the number of photos that can be stored without extra charge will be reduced to 500 (a more limited membership will still be available for $19.95). So please act now!
- NEW! No advertising while you're viewing your albums (added by member request)*
- NEW! "Fast PhotoPoint" - This new feature is also a result of member feedback. We're working on a new design for our paying members in a special streamlined interface that lets you view your PhotoPoint albums with faster load times and easier access to your favorite features. (You can still have the current interface if you prefer). This Fast PhotoPoint design will feature:
- Fewer graphics for faster loading
- Quick login takes you directly to your list of albums (skips the My PhotoPoint page)
- All options viewable on one page (requiring fewer clicks)
- A simplified page layout
- 25 free prints (a $12 value)
- Store up to 1000 photos**
- Take advantage of the PhotoPoint Print at Home service - print high quality photos at home, right from your online albums
- Save 5% off all print orders for the year
- Enjoy express customer service
- Learn valuable photo tips and tricks with the PhotoPointers Tutorial Series
If you don't wish to pay for PhotoPoint, you will still be able to use the service at no charge, but you will be limited to 10 photos in your account and some features (such as Print at Home) will be unavailable.
We want to thank you for your loyal support of PhotoPoint, and look forward to providing you with the best photo service on the Internet. If you have any questions, please visit our More Information page, or contact Customer Service.
* Marketing messages from PhotoPoint will still appear.
** For members with more than 1000 photos in their PhotoPoint account, an additional $9.95 yearly fee will be charged per 1000 photos. PhotoPoint Membership Plus includes 500MB of storage or approximately 1000 photos.
Due to shipping restrictions, prints are available to members who live within the US and Canada. In lieu of free prints, international members will receive one free month of membership."