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Why should a business add burden of supporting additional users unless free users bring something to table in some tangible form like free press?

I am really curious.




If you can't figure out a good reason to support free users too, then don't. Not every app is suitable for a freemium style of business.

The big advantage of freemium is lower friction. The people who buy your product don't typically need it advertised or explained to them. They've either already got experience with it due to being free users or they will set aside some time to trial you product for free for a while. Beyond that a free product can build up a strong reputation that carries over to the paid versions.

Billions upon billions of dollars are spent every year by companies trying to create familiarity and trust in their brands. Being able to do that with a free version of your actual product is just as worthy of the expense and in many ways a far more honest form of advertising.


It's essentially a marketing expense.


I do agree with this. Especially in this case if you outsource some of your marketing "expenses" to social platforms ("Like buttons", "tweet this", etc)



If you're having trouble getting enough traffic to run statistically significant experiments, then offering some kind of free tier can help. Of course, these free users will behave differently, but you can at least tell if users will like it even when there's no payment decision necessary.


Network effects, in the case of LiveJournal and GitHub.


That's like a woman in a burka.




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