What Free Services Would You Pay For?

By Deane Barker on February 9, 2006

There are a lot of free services on the Web — we all use one. But which ones would you pay for?

Of the free services you use, let’s say they all decided to charge $30 per year. Which ones would you go without and which would you shell out the money for? (Note that I’m not including Web sites like blogs — I’m talking about services like Bloglines, Flickr, etc.)

I have to say I would pay that every year for Bloglines. That’s the one service I’d have trouble going without. That’s about it. Anyone else?



  1. I use Bloglines and Gmail a lot, but would rather switch to anyone providing the same service for free than paying. I mean, who wouldn’t? :)

    I think the way for apps like theese to make money is through targeted advertising, such as AdSense, not by charging users regularly.

  2. I think what Deane is getting is of the services you use which ones would you pay for versus just cold turkey abandonment if suddenly they were not free and there were no comparable, free alternatives.

    Mine is pretty pedestrian – free on-line bill paying with mycheckfree.com.

  3. Apple pulled a switch like that a while back with their .mac accounts; initially released as a free service, they started charging for them after a few years. Not sure how many accounts they lost (mine was one of them) but it still seems to be a popular service. I just don’t think that it’s worth the money they charge.

    There are very few free services I use now that I’d keep if they started charging for them.

  4. I already pay for flickr, so that’s probaby a given.

    Bloglines too, I can’t imagine going back to pre feed reader days.

    del.icio.us I would think about. Not as important as the other two, but 10 bucks a year I would probably break down and do it.

    But those are the things I use every day that I couldn’t live without.

  5. I don’t think there are any that I would pay for. I don’t use bloglines, I have an RSS reader that I enjoy enough to have upgraded from the free version. Flickr is nice and I used to do my own hosting, Flickr’s way easier…but if they charged I’d switch back to my own. Free bill pay is great, but I can write a check if need be….gmail is an extra account not something I depend on….

    Guess that would be nothing.

Comments are closed. If you have something you really want to say, tweet @gadgetopia.