PicMonkey, one of the most popular online photo-editing suites around, has rendered its free offerings absolutely pointless. You can still edit photos for free, spending hours crafting a visual masterpiece, but to actually save your creation you’ll have to pay. Which is ridiculous.
There is a lot of competition in the photo editing space. There’s the big names such as Photoshop and GIMP, plus a ton of smaller, more niche alternatives. PicMonkey is one of the best known online options, and it has been steadily growing since its launch in 2012. It’s thought to be profitable too.
Making the Free Version Completely Pointless
Unfortunately, PicMonkey has suddenly, and without warning, decided to make a rather big change to the service. Previously, anyone could use the range of free tools, with anyone paying for a membership gaining access to premium tools. These tools were clearly labelled, and the presence of ads meant that even the free users were paying their way.
Now, PicMonkey is trying to up the number of people paying for memberships by making the free version completely pointless. Because while anyone can now use any tool in PicMonkey’s arsenal, only paid-up members can save, export, or share their images. Which is surely an essential part of the process.
This essentially means that the company is happy for you to spend three hours forging the perfect image, but they want you to pay to actually get your hands on the finished product. It should be noted that there is a 7-day free trial available, and the mobile apps still work as they used to. But beyond that PicMonkey is basically slamming the door on free users.
Those free users are understandably upset at this rather fundamental change to the way PicMonkey operates. Especially as it happened overnight and without warning. Which led to some users who had been editing images for some time unable to save their work. Forcing them to screenshot it instead.
A Bizarre Way of Making You Pay for PicMonkey
We understand that companies need to make money, and the best way of doing that is by selling subscriptions. However, offering users access to every tool but then not allowing them to save their work is a really bizarre implementation of this model. And we hope PicMonkey reconsiders.
Do you currently use PicMonkey? What do you use it for? Have you been using the free version? If so, what do you think of PicMonkey making you pay to save your images? Are you likely to now buy a PicMonkey membership? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Korf-Adri via Flickr