Marco Arment recently stepped down as CTO of Tumblr to focus full time on his popular bookmarking tool, Instapaper. Since he’s now self-employed, it’s no surprise that Arment introduced a subscription service for Instapaper today to begin generating more revenue.
What is a little surprising is how self-deprecating Arment is about the whole thing. Users pay three dollars for a three month subscription. What do they get? Well, as Arment wrote on his blog,
Right now? Almost nothing, except knowing that you are supporting the Instapaper service’s operation and future feature development.
Subscribers are given the option to hide Instapaper’s advertisements. This option appears in Account.
Some future features may be Subscriber-only, but please don’t buy a Subscription solely because you expect these exclusive features to be mind-blowing. They might be, depending on how easily your mind is blown, but I’d feel better if you bought the Subscription because you wanted to support Instapaper.
Arment already generates a profit from app and ad sales, so maybe he feels like he doesn’t have to sell users that hard. At least one influential fan of Instapaper says he’s happy to pay for a subscription that offers him nothing new.