Pushbullet Pro – Pricing Scheme Causes A Scare

For thousands of Android and iOS users, Pushbullet is a god send. It lets you “Push” links seamlessly to each other and for Android users it mirrors notifications and lets you send SMS from your PC to your contacts. This in itself has been a blessing for those who work and aren’t allowed to pull out their phone, but also for anyone who doesn’t want to reach for their phone every ten seconds to respond to a text.

Yesterday morning, I was greeted by a Pushbullet notification that said that they were going premium. Before I even opened the notification, I planned to spend the money to get Premium because I wanted to support the service that has helped me productivity and efficiency as a student. Then I clicked the link and read what they had to say…

Pushbullet has decided to go Premium in order to support their costs. They have now decided to add the ability for a user to pay for a Pushbullet Pro Account. The Pushbullet Pro Account is $4.99/month or $39.99/year. The Puhsbullet Pro users will now have priority support, Universal Copy & Paste, Mirrored Notification Action Support, the ability to send unlimited messages (SMS, WhatsApp etc.), the ability to send larger files (up to 1GB from 25MB), and more storage space (100GB from 2GB). The features that we currently have will last the full length of November. Starting December 1st, the divide will begin between the basic users and the Pro users.

Basic Vs. Pro
Here’s a breakdown of what they offer for both “Basic” and “Pro” Source: Pushbullet’s website.

Before I go on to explain my issues with this, let me state that I love Pushbullet. It has benefited my life greatly as well as thousands of others. I have seen hundreds of threads where Pushbullet was included and its userbase wanting to donate to them, but they had no way. I personally think they want about it the wrong way and I’ll explain why.

The first is the fact that they are taking away featured that were once free, and charging for it. I would have had no issue with this if they let those features remain free, and charge for all future features that are new and unique to Pushbullet. I find it very annoying that “Mirrored Notification Action Support” is a premium feature, but “Mirror your phone’s notifications” is free. I can’t imagine it would be a lot to ask for the ability to dismiss a notification that we are receiving. That is immensely annoying since it would have me reaching for my phone to dismiss every notification I receive.

Second is the price. Let’s take the more expensive price of $4.99 a month. In my honest, for Pushbullet, that is really expensive. I wouldn’t mind $2.99 a month or a cap of $10 or $20 a year for the service. The service is handy, that I admit, but I do not think the service is worth $39.99 a year or ­­­the grossly overpriced $4.99. A better price model would be something akin to what LastPass does, which is $12 a year for the service. In doing this, people would be more inclined to buy it due to its lower price and the fact that it is a service they deem worth $1 a month.

Pushbullet definitely has the ability to rectify this issue and welcome themselves back into the hearts of the users that heavily supported it, but they must be aware of the problem. Hopefully they realize and they don’t become an app that loses all support overnight.


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