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Evernote pushes users to upgrade with test of a free plan limited to only 50 notes

Image Credits: Evernote
Image Credits: Evernote

Evernote’s owner, Bending Spoons, which has its headquarters in Milan, is now experimenting with a new strategy to encourage more customers to subscribe to premium versions of the company’s service. This comes after the company made significant layoffs in its workforce earlier this year. The business has revealed to TechCrunch that it has been performing a modest test that restricted the number of notes that free users were able to make, but they have stated that the new plan has not yet been implemented.

An Evernote user who signed in to a pop-up window that advised them that unless they upgraded to a premium plan, they would now be limited to only one notebook and 50 notes notified TechCrunch about the test. TechCrunch was contacted about the test by the Evernote user. Because of this move, the service would be significantly restricted for long-time Evernote customers who have amassed hundreds or thousands of notes throughout their membership.

Even though the messaging was visible within the app itself, the Evernote website’s pricing plans page did not indicate any such restriction on free plans. As a result, the price increase appeared to be a covert cost adjustment that Evernote did not wish to make public. Instead, the website says that free users are only restricted in some ways, such as the maximum note size being 25 MB or the amount of monthly upload space available to them being 60 MB. Other options, such as personal and professional plans, which are presently discounted to $10.83 and $14.17 a month, respectively, provide support for more prominent notes and uploads and the ability to sync to an unlimited number of devices.

Evernote explained that the modification has not been implemented permanently, so the website has not been updated with the latest information. The corporation has revealed that it has been conducting a test with a percentage of its free customers that is less than one percent to assess whether it would adopt the new plan. If such is the case, the corporation will then convey the adjustments across “the relevant customer touchpoints,” as the organization’s spokesperson indicated.

They also emphasized that free users will not be prevented from managing, modifying, viewing, exporting, or deleting their current notes, even if they have more than the limit allows. This was another point they made. If the user does not become a paying client, this will only restrict their ability to write new notes.

Nevertheless, this would be a significant shift for Evernote customers who have been with the company for a long time and use the software on a single device for simple note-taking activities. It would, in effect, force the vast majority of Evernote’s regular customers who subscribe to Evernote’s free plans to upgrade to a paid plan or quit using the program.

If the move is implemented, it has the potential to drive more customers to other solutions, such as Microsoft OneNote, which has a starting price of only $6.99 per month and offers up to 1 terabyte of cloud storage and synchronization with up to five devices, making it superior to Evernote’s plan. Another possibility is that it may encourage people to try out Notion, a collaborative note organizer that provides a free plan for individual users.

Evernote had a previous valuation of about a billion dollars and had financial difficulties for years before Bending Spoons decided to acquire the company. After replacing CEO Phil Libin a few years earlier with former Google executive Chris O’Neill, the business lost critical executives in 2018, including its CTO, CFO, CPO, and head of HR. When Libin was in charge, Evernote tried to grow into the physical products market by forming agreements with Moleskine and Pfeiffer and launching its line of desk accessories.

In the latter part of 2018, Evernote discharged 15 percent of its personnel. After that, CEO Ian Small succeeded in succeeding O’Neill, and the firm was successful in bringing in $100 million in recurring income. Regrettably, the app was still falling behind its more recent rivals, such as Notion, in the time leading up to its withdrawal from the market.

After making the announcement of its acquisition of Evernote in late 2022, Bending Spoons, which already owned other applications such as the video editor Splice and the photo editor Remini, swiftly laid off 129 Evernote employees. A firm representative at the time stated that to explain the decision, they cited the fact that the business had been “unprofitable for years” and that “the situation was unsustainable in the long term.”

If these proposed alterations are implemented, it is possible that this also applies to Evernote’s ability to provide a free plan.

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