|Previous news story Next news story|
Owners of Photopoint accounts are today receiving an e-mail letter addressed from Ed Bernstein, the CEO of Photopoint to inform them that Photopoint will be switching to a subscription based service. "...starting in mid-May, PhotoPoint.com will no longer be a free service". They will be charging an annual fee of $9.95 (existing members, limited time offer only) for storage of up to 1,000 images or $19.95 with 25 free prints bundled. It's a sad day for the photo sharing community but it's no surprise to those of us who have been following the fortunes of the market or who understand the economics of such a huge project.
Phil: Photopoint aren't the first, Photoloft announced similar charges in mid March. I've already seen several messages posted on our forums by Photopoint users exclaiming their sadness and confirming that they will not be continuing their membership with Photopoint. I'm not sure if Photopoint just haven't yet updated their website but there's no mention of charges on the "Sign Up" page nor is there anything in their terms and conditions, which is a little misleading.
The question now is, when will the rest follow?
The e-mail letter:
This from the Photopoint website:
PhotoPoint has dedicated its business to protecting your pictures and allowing you to share them easily with your family and friends. We thank you for making PhotoPoint the #1 online photography company.
To continue providing you the online photo experience you enjoy, we need to make several changes to our service in the coming weeks. Most significant is that, starting in mid-May, PhotoPoint.com will no longer be a free service, except for limited "trial" memberships.
We believe you deserve to get real value for your dollars. For the past six months we have conducted surveys and talked directly with members to learn what people want from an online photo company. We have built a full-service program based on value, not just storage, designed by users like you.
As a PhotoPoint Member, you will enjoy all of the current PhotoPoint features including secure photo albums and PicCheer photo postcards, plus:
- Save 5% off all print orders for the year
- Create and Save up to 5 SmashCast Movies - add music and graphics to your photos
- Store up to 1000 photos*
- Print at Home service - print photos at home like a pro
- Enjoy express customer service
- Receive our PhotoPointersTM Tutorial Series - valuable tips and tricks for improving your photography
For a limited time, you can join for an entire year for a one-time charge of $19.95, and we'll include 25 free prints (the prints alone are a $12 value). As a valued member, you also have the option of a special lower priced basic membership, which does not include prints, for just $9.95 for the year. These introductory offers will end April 30, 2001.
We want to thank you for your loyal support of PhotoPoint, and look forward to continuing to provide you with the best photo service on the Internet. If you have any questions, please visit our More Information page, or contact Customer Service.
* For members with more than 1000 photos in their PhotoPoint account, an additional $9.95 yearly fee will be charged per 1000 photos.
PhotoPoint is charging for membership, starting in mid-May. Free limited
memberships will be available on a trial basis.
Sign up for a paid membership so you can continue to enjoy all the features
of PhotoPoint plus the additional benefits of membership. Act now and
take advantage of our special introductory offers good through April 30th.
For a limited time, you can join for an entire year for a one-time charge of $19.95, and we'll include 25 free prints (the prints alone are a $12 value).
Or, for those who don't need or want free prints, you can purchase a Basic Membership for only $9.95 for one year.
These introductory offers will end April 30, 2001.
After our new Membership Program launches, and you have more than 10
photos in your PhotoPoint account, you will be prompted to upgrade to
a paid membership, when you first sign in to your account.
If you don't wish to purchase a membership, you can:
Reduce your account to fewer than 10 photos by downloading or deleting photos. This will give you a trial membership, where you will be limited to 10 or fewer photos in your account, will have restricted use of SmashCast movies, and will not have access to Print-at-Home.
Buy all, or some, of your photos on CD-ROM. Find out more
What if I still do not pay and do not remove my photos after the new Membership Program launches?
After our new Membership Program launches, if you have not purchased
a Membership, and have more than 10 photos in your account, you will have
a 10-day grace period starting from the time that you first sign in. During
that time you can delete or download your photos. After that 10-day grace
period, your account will be locked. At that time, neither you, nor your
visitors, will have access to your photos. You will no longer be able
to access your photos unless you purchase a Membership for the price it
is offered at that time.
Please note, after our new Membership Program launches, all SmashCast
movies will expire after 10 days, unless you are a paying Member. Paying
members can create as many Smashcast movies as they like within the year
and store up to five at any time.
PhotoPoint Members who have more than 1000 photos can purchase additional
storage space for $9.95 per 1000 photos.