We’re excited to announce the new Pro version of appear.in, making video collaboration even easier for teams and professionals. Upgrade to appear.in Pro for $9.99/month for more productive meetings!
New product plans
At appear.in, we have been committed since day 1 to removing the friction from video meetings. Even in 2017, it’s surprising how many people still struggle with setting up a basic video call and collaborating remotely. Our mission is to make video meetings delightful and even more productive for our users, and this is why we’re making some changes to our product plans.
Today, we’re launching two new plans – appear.in Free and appear.in Pro ($9.99/month). These plans are perfect for individuals, freelancers and small teams who need a limited set of rooms.
The new plans give you the following features
Up to 3 rooms with full PRO features
Up to 12 participants with Group Mode
PRO Screen sharing with presenter video
Brand your room with custom your background, logo and welcome page
1 claimed room
Up to 4 participants in a room with Normal Mode
Basic Screen Sharing (screen replaces presenter’s video)
Slack and Trello integration
You will still be able to use appear.in without registering, and play around in the many still unclaimed rooms. However, once you come up with a room name you like, we encourage you to register and claim it. Millions of people are using appear.in by now, and the chance of someone else coming up with the same brilliant room name is increasing. Claiming the room will enable you to lock it and control who enters it, so that you can be sure that your conversations are not disturbed by unexpected guests.
Why are we making these changes?
Today, most internet startups offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) are using one of two business models; either users pay, or advertisers pay. In the latter, the users are paying indirectly with their personal data, which is being sold to the advertisers. We champion our customers’ privacy and don’t want to go down that route with appear.in.
At appear.in we are committed to continue providing a free version, at the same time as we need to build a sustainable business model that lets us continue innovating and building a great product! We are confident that appear.in solves a real problem and that we are providing significant value to our many users. Great video conferencing should be considered a cost of doing business, and there are many benefits to embracing digital meetings. It can both reduce costs (expensive office space, travel) and improve team communication through better productivity and quality of decisions.
The feedback we have gathered during the beta phase of appear.in Premium, is that this model wasn't the best way to give our users the opportunity to support us and help cover our operational costs. With the changes we are introducing, we aim to increase the value for paying users, without limiting appear.in FREE too much. We hope you will agree that we have found a good balance, but we welcome feedback.
If you are happy with appear.in Free and feel that it covers your needs – great! Our ambition is to keep the free version of appear.in the best free video meeting service out there. We also want to cater to the more advanced users who depend on appear.in every day, and with appear.in Pro we are investing even more in building ground-breaking collaboration features.
Significant changes implemented in the Free version
Own 1 room
Most users only use one room, and because appear.in vanity URLs are a finite and valuable resource, we have limited free usage to one room. For power users who need multiple rooms, the PRO plan will offer up to 10 rooms with Pro features. The limitation will be applied for new users, and will not affect most existing users who have already claimed rooms (read more in FAQ).
For those who need more than 3 rooms, our upcoming TEAMS plan will allow larger teams and companies to set up a private appear.in domain, and generate the rooms they need (company.appear.in/room-name). Sign up to be notified when the TEAMS plan is available.
Maximum 4 participants
Free users will now be able to use Normal mode, which allows up to 4 participants. Our data shows that the majority of calls have 2 participants, and Normal mode is designed for this. The goal of this change is to provide a more consistent quality experience for users. We are working on building out a way for free users to test Group mode before they upgrade to Pro.
The previous limit of 8 participants was set in 2013 and was not based on real usage scenarios. Based on feedback and data we have now, we see that the peer-to-peer technical solution that the Free plan is built on is vulnerable to quality problems in calls with 4+ participants. The risk of a poor user experience is too high when allowing large meetings on this solution, and that's why we have limited the Free plan to maximum 4 participants.
The new limit of 4 participants will be enforced in rooms from December 15th.
For larger calls with more than 4 participants, we now offer Group mode (available in PRO). This mode uses a different technical solution, that enables better stability in calls with up to 12 participants. Read more about Normal/Group mode here.
Why are we changing premium to PRO?
The list of things we’ve learned from our premium users’ feedback is long (big thanks to everyone who’s contributed 🙏). The key insights were as follows:
Users who use appear.in regularly want to pay, but upgrading isn’t easy enough (and we’re not asking them to)
Upgrading and paying per room is complicated and doesn’t scale for many rooms
Not everyone has a need for bigger group meetings
Larger teams need to on/offboard team members, and managing room access is difficult
Many users want to pay for the option to record meetings
With this in mind we set out to improve the premium beta. Some of the core changes in our new product plans are as follows:
Upgrade your account, not your room
Instead of upgrading a single room, you now get up to 10 rooms with full PRO features. This way, you can create multiple rooms for different purposes, and you don’t have to cancel your subscription just to use a different room link.
Extend your brand
appear.in Pro offers great customisation features for those who want to have a branded appearance of their company, or give professional presentations over appear.in. You can customise your rooms by setting a background image, your own logo and also make the welcome page that people encounter when the room is locked reflect your brand.
With Pro screensharing your guests will see both the shared screen AND your video (in the Free plan the shared screen replaces your video).
Change room mode based on the size of your meetings
To improve quality in both small and large meetings, we have introduced Normal mode (1-4 participants) and Group mode (5-12) participants. Normal mode gives great quality for 1:1 and small calls, while Group mode gives stability in larger calls. Read more about how this works here.
With a Pro account, all your rooms get the option to switch between Normal/Group mode. You can also set one of the modes as default when you create a new room. We’re also working on increasing the maximum participant limit to more than 12.
So, what’s next?
A new TEAMS plan, for larger teams and companies
Our next big thing will be the TEAMS plan, which is currently being tested by a few handpicked users in a closed beta. We can reveal that appear.in TEAMS will offer a unique company domain (company.appear.in) where everyone in your team can create company-branded rooms with all the PRO features. Sign up here to be notified when the TEAMS plan is ready for the public!
TEAMS will let you create a company or team account, where all employees can create rooms with custom domain and branding.
Other Pro features
This launch is just the beginning of a more targeted effort of making appear.in the best tool for remote collaboration out there. We have many new features in the works and will continue to roll out improvements to the FREE and PRO plans. Hint – a recording feature is currently in beta 😉
While we have tried to anchor these changes with our community, there are probably things we haven’t thought of. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so get in touch with us at email@example.com
We want to continue growing appear.in as an independent video conferencing service. By upgrading to appear.in Pro, you are not just treating yourself to a delightful video meeting service, you are also:
supporting a crazy, multinational team of truly passionate people
contributing to developing the practices of remote collaboration
letting us push the boundaries every day of what is possible to do on the web