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Xmarks goes 'freemium,' stays open

Xmarks goes 'freemium,' stays open

The Xmarks service will continue to run, thanks to a new 'freemium' model and a partnership with LastPass.

Cross-platform browser synchronisation service Xmarks, which announced its intentions to close its doors at the end of the year following a failure to find a viable business model, has received a last-minute reprieve in the form of a partnership with cloud-based password storage service LastPass.

The deal, announced on Xmarks' blog, will see the service remain free for its 4.5 million users while introducing a premium membership model that will add additional features to the already impressive service.

Designed around the same 'freemium' model that has helped LastPass succeed in the market, the new XMarks Premium will cost $12 per year and include new features such as support for Android and iOS-based devices and priority e-mail support.

It's hoped that enough users will sign up to the $12 a year premium subscription to defray the service's annual running costs, which chief executive James Joaquin claimed back in October were around the $2 million mark.

Joaquin had originally dismissed the 'freemium' model, explaining that '2 percent of our two million users paying $10 a year would generate $400,000 of annual revenue,' which is not enough to keep the company afloat for long.

It's a model that has worked for LastPass, though - and clearly Xmarks is hoping that the new partnership will help to keep the popular service, which the only browser-agnostic synchronisation utility to cover open tabs, bookmarks, and passwords, available for all.

Are you pleased to see Xmarks continuing to battle on, or worried that it won't convert enough of its users to the premium service to keep going? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

8 Comments

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proxess 6th December 2010, 11:32 Quote
I'd pay for the premium. Actually, I probably will pay for the premium. Syncing everything for my Android, my Ubuntu and Windows boots at home, and my work laptop (with profiles of course) is really kick ass imho.
Arkanrais 6th December 2010, 12:56 Quote
It's good to see they can still carry on. I'll most likely purchase the freemium thing next year, even though I only use 1 browser and PC most of the time. they made switching from my old XP machine to win7 a lot easier once my bookmarks were all carried over (and the same with subsequent formats of the win7 machine).
V3ctor 6th December 2010, 13:06 Quote
I got firefox Sync... It works for me :P I don't use any other browser, except IE6 when on the company pc.
Farting Bob 6th December 2010, 15:55 Quote
Im sure alot of people will sign up to the pay version just because they like the service, even if they dont use the pay features.
Personally i dont see how they can run up $2m a year in costs on such a service, bandwidth and storage would be incredibly low since its all just text files that can be compressed to a few KB for most users. Id be fasinated to see a breakdown a company like them how much it costs them to run a few servers and pay bandwidth.
bogie170 6th December 2010, 17:52 Quote
Yay, I knew thaty wouldn't die!!!
The_Beast 6th December 2010, 18:07 Quote
So is there a way to get the bookmark syncing without paying cash monies?


The iOs sync is kinda cool
azzybish 7th December 2010, 01:19 Quote
They should make an app for iphone and android that costs the standard 79p and it would sync your passwords and bookmarks with your iphone, easy.
MajestiX 8th December 2010, 07:17 Quote
doesn't chrome do this?

i thought that knowing what people book mark is "advertising gold"
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