Xmarks goes 'freemium,' stays open

December 6, 2010 // 11:17 a.m.

Tags: #android #browser #firefox #foxmarks #freemium #internet-explorer #ios #iphone #lastpass #opera #synchronisation #xmarks

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.

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