Introducing the new free tier

Today, Tapsbook is introducing a whole new free tier.

Prior to our launch today, Tapsbook lets each user import up to 500 photo from online and offline sources and requires user to upgrade to subscription plan in order to import more photos to build their stories. We initially conceived Tapsbook as a freemium service. It took some time to get to this point, but we are now ready to make this vision a reality.

Starting from Tapsbook version 1.0.2 (Build 65), all of our free tier user will get unlimited photo import and unlimited photo book creation.

Some background

To operate a sustainable internet business, there usually are two kinds of business models: Freemium model and ads-supported model.  We as founders must align our user’s interest with our offerings and business decisions.  It is not hard to find lots of photo services that use an ads-supported model ; they may even blog about how placing an ad in your photo stream makes perfect sense, or even attempt to sell your photos.

We believe there is a better way.

From the get-go, we modeled Tapsbook’s business model after successful companies such as Dropbox and Smugmug, who have both Free tier user and Paid tier user.  We picked this model rather than ads-supported model because we don’t want to mix ads with you beautiful stories – you wouldn’t be happy to see ads among your stories. Your stories are very personal, and it wouldn’t make sense to show a diaper ad next to your beautiful photo stories.

Free tier: unlimited photo import and unlimited book creation.

Yes, that is right, unlimited photos and books. Tapsbook’s mission is to build the best tool for you, our customers, to organize your hundreds and thousands of precious moments into beautiful stories – we don’t want to put a limit to it.  We initially set the limit on the number of photos users are allowed to import for free so that we have time to setup our backbone infrastructure and get it ready for prime time.   Now, we believe we are ready.

As we have learned from Dropbox, cloud storage is very expensive due to its recurring nature. From our early beta users’ feedback, not everyone wants to share their stories or backup their photos on cloud. Hence, we decided that unless users want to share stories and thus require cloud storage, Tapsbook should be free for life.

Paid tier details

As Tapsbook becomes an essential tool in your photo storytelling, some users may want to share/backup more of their stories, which will incur higher cloud storage cost, and desire more control over the storage and sharing of their stories. We plan to satisfy these group of user and enable that extra control via the Paid tier offering

Paid tier accounts are similar to free tier accounts, but with more enhancement to come, such as:

  • Paid tier accounts can share unlimited photos (free tier accounts can share a max of 500 photos combined, regardless number of books)
  • Paid tier accounts can share stories with any number of pages (free tier accounts can only share up to 20 pages per story)
  • [coming soon] Paid tier accounts can export stories as PDF file (no available for free tier accounts)
  • [coming soon] Paid tier accounts’ shared stories have advanced Access Control (free tier story links are unprotected)
  • [coming soon] Paid tier accounts’ shared stories are never deleted (free tier stories expire in 30 days)
  • [coming soon] Paid tier accounts’ stories can be downloaded for offline viewing (for free tier, only local story can be offline viewed)

The road ahead

We’d like to thank our beta community for helping us and providing us with feedback to enable Tapsbook to move from beta to launch in just 4 months. We need your continuous guidance to evolve this app into an indispensable one that you want to use frequently to tell and share your amazing stories. Please give us your feedback.

Photo credit: arrowphotobooth.com