cjpalermo21

Basic Changing - August 1

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So, I received the email (and the banner) atop the webpage, recently, outlining all the currently available features being removed as of 8/1.

Personally, I think this is a bad idea (and, it's semi-insulting).

While I understand the need to make money (servers and time aren't free); I think the idea of "removing" features from people isn't the way to do it. Make the other options more attractive (not by subtraction; but by addition).

For someone like me -- someone who has espoused the benefits of InoReader as the *best* RSS reader available; I've blogged about it, posted on Facebook, LinkedIn (and shared that here) - easily personally directed more than 100 people to use the site (through a course I teach); the idea that I might lose features because I'm not a "valued" member (aka, just basic); is disappointing.

If the changes were simply rolled out to "new" users (and previous users were grandfathered into the old plan); that would be fine -- and, I'm saying this as someone whom I don't believe even uses any of the features being phased out (I don't think; I guess I'll find out on 8/2); but it's just not a move I'd expect from an organization that I considered to be the market leader (if not by share; then certainly by functionality).

Please reconsider.

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Hello,

First of all sorry about disappointing you and thank you about your opinion and sharing about us. 

Let me explain why we are removing the free “1 free rule/active search/twitter feed/etc…”. It was generally meant for testing purposes only and we replaced it with full 30-day trial. One of our biggest issues is that this model is susceptible for abuse and a lot of users are actually taking advantage of it, creating bots and multiple fake accounts, each with 1 rule or active search or whatever. Over time those fake accounts started to put a lot of stress into our infrastructure and it takes us a lot of time to hunt them and disable them. We'd rather spend this time making the platform better and communicating with you, the users. So this move isn't about getting more money. We are not in trouble and we're not starved for revenue. It's just that the abuse issue has really escalated recently and we had to take actions.Please do not think that we are taking this decision lightly.

I hope you understand, 

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On 7/24/2017 at 8:32 AM, wesson said:

Hello,

First of all sorry about disappointing you and thank you about your opinion and sharing about us. 

Let me explain why we are removing the free “1 free rule/active search/twitter feed/etc…”. It was generally meant for testing purposes only and we replaced it with full 30-day trial. One of our biggest issues is that this model is susceptible for abuse and a lot of users are actually taking advantage of it, creating bots and multiple fake accounts, each with 1 rule or active search or whatever. Over time those fake accounts started to put a lot of stress into our infrastructure and it takes us a lot of time to hunt them and disable them. We'd rather spend this time making the platform better and communicating with you, the users. So this move isn't about getting more money. We are not in trouble and we're not starved for revenue. It's just that the abuse issue has really escalated recently and we had to take actions.Please do not think that we are taking this decision lightly.

I hope you understand, 

 

Hi Wesson,

I've certainly been a huge advocate of your service. 

I would submit you can accomplish the same goal by simply making all *future* basic accounts the way you're envisioning; but keeping existing accounts grandfathered in. As I said, I don't even know that I use *any* of the features; but maybe - one day - I will. And, it smacks of insincerity that *all* basic users are simply given the option to pay up or lose it. What if someone only *needs* one rule or feed, etc.?

I definitely get that abuse taxes the system; but don't fall for the "one size fits all" approach. It rarely works. Ultimately, "fair" doesn't mean "equal." There are fairer ways to alleviate the issues you're facing; without functionally slapping the face of those who've been with you for multiple years. :/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ah - well, apparently I *did* use one of the things that was eliminated. I had my Twitter feed into my reader. That seems to have gone dead about 5-6 hours ago.

I don't think this is a great way to treat honest customers; who have advocated and promoted your business; but -- hey -- it's not my business. (I checked back on my blog - my first post about "The winner is Inoreader! was 9/6/13 ...) -- heh, and I even raved about the "full search of your subscriptions" - which is, also, now killed.

In that respect; Inoreader is now ... well ... just like all the other ones :(

I guess I'm in the market again for a new reader :(  $15 a year so I can read my Twitter feed seems frivolous (and capricious). Maybe there aren't any readers out there that will do it for free; but I'd be foolish not to look.

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On 8/1/2017 at 7:32 PM, cjpalermo21 said:

and I even raved about the "full search of your subscriptions" - which is, also, now killed.

I can also confirm that isn't killed. 

We are removing the Active searches only. Not the Search option (we never thought about similar limitation).

Here's the full list of changes to the Basic plan:

  • Number of Active searches changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of rules changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of filtered feeds changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of boosted feeds changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of Twitter feeds changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of Facebook page feeds changes from 1 to 0
  • Number of VKontakte feeds changes from 1 to 0

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You should add a system such that if a Basic user has used inoreader enough and got ads over a threshold some of the features in starter plan gets activated for him for a certain duration of time.

Otherwise some people might start activating Ad-Blockers as they are not getting any of the features they previously had.

In this way you will reward your Long time users (who actually use your service and are not fake ID) and also monetize from ads you are already showing.

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All this means to me is no more push notifications, which sucks because that's the whole reason I use Inoreader.

I subscribed to a few android/tech "deals" feeds/blogs and had the one "rule" to notify me when they update, but that's no more... =\

---just wishing notifications was a normal feature/toggle; a long time user.

 

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5 hours ago, C. Hobbs said:

All this means to me is no more push notifications, which sucks because that's the whole reason I use Inoreader.

I subscribed to a few android/tech "deals" feeds/blogs and had the one "rule" to notify me when they update, but that's no more... =\

---just wishing notifications was a normal feature/toggle; a long time user.

 

You pretty much sounds like "OMG, it's SO important for me, however, I don't want to pay a price of two Bigmac menus yearly. So please change your whole business model because of the ONE feature I use!!!!"

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I think he sounds more like, "I decided to use this service *because* of the features available; and I resent being forced to pay for something that was available for the past few years; simply because *others* can't use the service properly. And, rather than grandfather existing customers into the features (and kick out the phony accounts); the decision was made to remove the features from *all* users; even those who've been here since the early days; and promoted and espoused the benefits of the tool and the platform."

Maybe I'm just projecting.

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9 hours ago, cjpalermo21 said:

I think he sounds more like, "I decided to use this service *because* of the features available; and I resent being forced to pay for something that was available for the past few years; simply because *others* can't use the service properly. And, rather than grandfather existing customers into the features (and kick out the phony accounts); the decision was made to remove the features from *all* users; even those who've been here since the early days; and promoted and espoused the benefits of the tool and the platform."

Maybe I'm just projecting.

tl;dr - not going to argue on a price of a KFC bucket.

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Really strange reactions here!

Wesson, as usual, have quiely explained why they're removing advanced features for free plans!

And you know what? I can understand it!

It's all about abuses, here!

It's about costs!

Don't you really think it's time consuming and also technicaly difficult to make the distinction between good and bad users?

Yes we are "paying" because of abusers.

And "grandfathering" is just unrealistic!

Come on guys, what are we talking about?

You are using a free tool! A FREE TOOL!

And some of you are arguiing about ads? Come on!

Do you think the guys in Inoreader live from love and fresh water? Just put yourself in their place for 2 minutes! (Just try!)

Even with the new Free Plan, Inoreader is much more advanced that any other tool! Even if some of the of the features are not sufficiently finalized. Even if Feedly is a bit more innovative these times!

Free Feedly plan for example is limited to 100 feeds, you don't have search feature, you don't have outgoing RSS feeds and you don't have persons responding friendly to problems in an hour.

By the way if you miss Twitter filtering, you can easily use Feed.exileed, Queryfeed, Publicate.it or even Zapier.

And are we talking about the price? 4$/month for Pro features? OK, here in France it's costing me 2 coffees in a bar... per month. 2 coffees!

And for 2 coffees I have a deeply valuable professionnal service!

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I agree with some of the other posts here that you should reconsider other options if abuse is the main concern. Now some people are just going to create multiple accounts every 30 days to try and get around that limitation. Why note reenable the limit to 1 social media feed/1 boosted feet at least for people who have had an account for a long time, such as more than a year or 6 months. It doesn't make sense for me to pay for multiple services when I only really need one (the Twitter feed). There is no free alternative for that that I can see.

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I don't see how removing rules and boosts would help abuse (not to mention the previous iFTTT implementation). Even introducing the "concept" of boosts is a money-making initiative. Regardless, of what's being said now, there was no initial indication that these features were temporary. The changes are clearly to push their the subscription models.

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30 minutes ago, Kovaelin said:

I don't see how removing rules and boosts would help abuse (not to mention the previous iFTTT implementation). Even introducing the "concept" of boosts is a money-making initiative. Regardless, of what's being said now, there was no initial indication that these features were temporary. The changes are clearly to push their the subscription models.

Judging from  @wesson's first reply in this thread it appears people were making many duplicate accounts to get past user limits. For example boosts - once a feed is boosted by one account it's also boosted in the entire system, for everyone else. Make 50 accounts and you could boost 500 feeds. Same for rules - want another one? - Import your OPML in a new account and let it rip, more active searches - sure, and you could even export them as RSS so you can centralize them to one account again. 

This meant two things:

Firstly, people who normally should have bought a paid account weren't doing so, depriving Inoreader of revenue while the equivalent resources were still being used. The duplicate accounts that were just milked for a few features were also not actively used by a human so no money from ad impressions either.

Secondly by being essentially free it promoted wasteful use of resources, someone could boost their entire feed list to 10 minutes, which isn't good for Inoreader's crawlers or the destination sites being pounded needlessly. With this you could exceed the limits even on Paid accounts, the highest tier (Pro) is capped at 100 boosts & similar numbers for social media feeds.

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2 hours ago, Firestone said:

Judging from  @wesson's first reply in this thread it appears people were making many duplicate accounts to get past user limits. For example boosts - once a feed is boosted by one account it's also boosted in the entire system, for everyone else. Make 50 accounts and you could boost 500 feeds. Same for rules - want another one? - Import your OPML in a new account and let it rip, more active searches - sure, and you could even export them as RSS so you can centralize them to one account again. 

This meant two things:

Firstly, people who normally should have bought a paid account weren't doing so, depriving Inoreader of revenue while the equivalent resources were still being used. The duplicate accounts that were just milked for a few features were also not actively used by a human so no money from ad impressions either.

Secondly by being essentially free it promoted wasteful use of resources, someone could boost their entire feed list to 10 minutes, which isn't good for Inoreader's crawlers or the destination sites being pounded needlessly. With this you could exceed the limits even on Paid accounts, the highest tier (Pro) is capped at 100 boosts & similar numbers for social media feeds.

If this is true, then I feel like this is reaching quite a bit to justify unnecessary changes. Shouldn't it be easy to tell what's being abused, especially if it becomes apparent people are centralizing multiple accounts into one?

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Yep - I would assume they have data on each account and how long it's been in existence. If cashflow *isn't* the concern (and it's been stated that it isn't), then providing the 1 rule/1 social feed to existing accounts would seem to be the most fair (since, as @Kovaelin said - there was no prior indication these features were "temporary."

Maybe it's true - maybe this IS the only game in town. Maybe the other options aren't nearly as robust. Maybe I'll need to find alternatives/hacks to get around this. Or, maybe there's a hidden gem (much as InoReader was, originally). Until I start doing research, I won't know :(

But, I hadn't planned on doing any research. I was content with InoReader for what I needed. So be it.

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