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In recent weeks, several companies have changed the free tiers of their products, from Slack and Otter.ai to Google Meet and Heroku. This ties into a crucial question for freemium businesses: When should you start charging? And does this look different in a downturn? Let’s explore. — Anna
No time for freebies?
Oh, how things have changed.
You’re used to reading this on The Exchange by now, whether we’re talking about public markets, venture capital or macroeconomic indicators. But now there’s another sign of the times: the free tiers are becoming less generous.
An email I received from Google made it clear that we have a very different mindset than when the pandemic began. “To help everyone stay connected,” the email reads, “two years ago, we offered the premium version of Google Meet to everyone and announced that we would be temporarily waiving the 1-hour limit on group meetings. Starting this month, group meetings with three or more participants will have a 1-hour limit.”
If you want to host longer group meetings on Google Meet, you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan. In other words, Google is reducing its generosity.