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Online storage company Hordit has announced that they are removing the free account and are switching to paid plans only. Hordit describes their service as, ‘Hordit lets you unleash the information hoarder in you. Store and share links, documents, notes and more – as much as you want – for free! Filter articles from your favorite blogs and news sites with "research assistant." Manage the sites you visit regularly with your "daily read." And keep track of links for later perusal with "look later."’ I guess the free part will need to be removed from their product description. Jennifer at Mashable has a good review of the Hordit service from last month.
The new plan will offer users 90 days free trial and then a $5/month option. Founder Matt Brown noted in a blog post, "Our intention from the start was to provide a base service for free supported by a subscription service. Unfortunately, funding dynamics are changing and we have been forced to alter our plans." I’d have picked 30 or 45 days free – 90 is an eternity in web time.
We’ve watched more and more services move to paid-only or freemium models this year. I’ve said for a long time that this would happen and it’s good to see that businesses are realizing advertising alone won’t cut it. The issue here is that as long as some provider is willing to offer the service for free, it will make it hard for services like Hordit to find willing paying customers. Hordit will need to continue to innovate at a fast pace to stay ahead of the free services.
This year we will see startups experimenting with new business models and I say yahoo! It’s about time. Most companies aren’t able to live without revenue for an infinite period of time like you know who.