Advertising to your users

Every two months or so I get a call from my Internet Service Provider (that one in the US no one likes) where they try to get me to add cable TV and a landline — two completely unnecessary services for me. They tell me TV is free for 6 months and it's a great deal, but it never changes the fact that Netflix already provides the scant video entertainment I need, and I will never want to have cable TV in my house, not even if they paid me to have it.

I use GitHub to host my open source code, but would never pay $7 / month to get private repositories. Instead I'd host code on my home server or install Gogs somewhere on the internet if I want to get fancy. But GitHub does one of the best jobs I've seen at not pestering me to pay for services I don't need. More importantly, they do this despite me not paying them already.

Users like me hate freemium software because of the monotonous, “Hey, wanna upgrade now?” ads they incessantly face from a service that's just supposed to be solving their problems. Now that I'm on the other side of the equation with, I'm just concerned with making Pro features discoverable in the midst of all the functionality they get for free. Because paid features don't just pay our bills; they make useful in a ton of new ways.

Right now you'll notice a few spots that, in a way, fail our “No ads ever” policy — we're advertising for So one of our biggest tasks now is to hide all of these “ads” from view by default. Instead, Pro features will show in their normal spots for free users, and will gently inform you when an upgrade is required only after you've tried to perform a Pro action. In this way we hope to remain distraction-free, but make the upgrade process effortless if you want it, so your creation process is never interrupted.

I'll keep you updated as we go.