It’s not just you: The freemium bar is shifting

Here’s another sign of the times: Free tiers are becoming less generous.

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In recent weeks, several companies tweaked the free tiers of their products, from Slack and to Google Meet and Heroku. This ties back into a crucial question for freemium businesses: When should you start charging? And does that look different in a downturn? Let’s explore. — Anna

No time for freebies?

Oh, how things have changed.

You are already used to reading this on The Exchange, whether we are talking about public markets, venture capital or macroeconomic indicators. But now there’s another sign of the times: Free tiers are becoming less generous.

An email I received from Google made it clear that we are in a very different mindset than when the pandemic started.To help us all stay connected,” the email read, “two years ago we offered the premium version of Google Meet to everyone and announced that we would temporarily not enforce the 1-hour time limit for group meetings. Beginning this month, group meetings with three or more participants will revert to having a 1-hour limit.”

If you’d like to host longer group meetings on Google Meet, you will have to sign up for a paid plan. In other words, Google is cutting down on its largesse.

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