Smile Software found itself at the center of a firestorm of controversy last week when it moved to a subscription pricing model for TextExpander that made a lot of sense to business users, but less so for individuals. To its credit, Smile has listened to customer feedback and is instituting two changes to what was announced last week.
- First, existing customers of TextExpander will receive a lifetime 50% discount on its new subscription service, instead of a discount on the first year only. With this change, existing customers can continue to enjoy TextExpander and future updates for $20/year.
- Second, TextExpander 5 for Mac and TextExpander touch 3 for iOS will continue to be sold and maintained. So, if you prefer, or need, Dropbox or iCloud syncing of your text snippets, you can continue to use these products.
Software pricing is hard, and it’s never been more difficult to build and maintain sustainable Mac and iOS apps. Smile’s initial decision struck many as an abandonment of consumer software for an enterprise model. As Smile Founder Greg Scown explained on Smile’s blog, that is not the case:
To some of you it may seem we don’t care about our individual customers any more and only care about business use. We care about both, and in the changing software world a single focus is not a viable long term strategy for TextExpander. We did not make these changes easily or lightly, but for the long term life of the product so we can all enjoy it and engage with it for many years to come.
I’m glad to see Smile make these changes. It’s not easy to balance the needs of business and individual customers, but I think the changes announced today strike a fair balance that addresses the legitimate complaints that many individual users of TextExpander had with its new business model. I for one am signing up.