MetaFilter’s $5 Sign-Up Fee

A few readers emailed to point out that Pinboard’s new user sign-up fee isn’t entirely original, pointing to the $5 fee that MetaFilter has had in place for a few years. I’m sure others have done something similar, too. What I think is original, though, is the way Pinboard’s fee increases slowly as new users join — (a) encouraging early adoption, and (b) throttling growth. I.e., in addition to bringing in some cash, it’s also a clever way to ensure that a new web app doesn’t grow too fast too soon. It serves a similar purpose to a strictly-limited-number-of-invitations beta rollout like Gmail’s.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009