-8

There's been a few suggestions from fellow users that we should consider having a paid tier on SE.

Now, SE's fundamentally against being behind a paywall of any sort. I also remember someone suggesting it be a way to get around early user restrictions or even buying reputation. I personally don't think it's a good idea but I feel that it's something that shouldn't be buried behind deleted content either.

Some of the arguments I have seen have been

Ads (=spam) make a bad impression on visitors, and they do nothing to resolve low quality posts. In my opinion, it's time that users bought an annual subscription that provides access to the entire network. New users pay a smaller fee to have access to SE for four months. If they're happy with the experience, they'll renew and buy a year's subscription. This will ensure quality questions, or at the very least new contributors will have read the help center before paying the fee. Users with 20K should be exempt, the site is free for them, as they have proven to provide valuable content.

from a deleted comment by Mari-Lou A

I agree with a lot of comments above in that the subscription fee can act as a pseudo vetting process for low quality posts (users joining a community and not reading rules and stickies and then posting a dupe, etc.)

taken in part from a deleted post by Tom Hood

So, what do people see this as being, and what might be the advantages and pitfalls of a freemium model for public Q&A?

The comments and posts were posted in response to the following announcement made recently by the team We're testing advertisements across the network

(Meta-Meta commentary: This was a hard question to write. I'd note that any views here do not reflect the mod team, or the folks who own and run the broader network, or even me and I'm writing this literally cause it keeps coming up and I'd like to lay it to rest. I'm also considering setting this as community wiki once I've consulted with other mods or a CM- so less 'popular' viewpoints don't cause their holders to take a rep hit)

  • Also, tried my best to quote and attribute. If any folks I've quoted is unhappy, let me know and I'll try to adjust to what works for you. – Journeyman Geek Jun 21 at 1:20
  • Remember the reasons why Google Answers and Amazon Askville failed? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jun 21 at 1:28
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    Who? Feel free to post an answer reflecting why those failed and how those lessons would reflect the network's possible dystopian freemium future ;p – Journeyman Geek Jun 21 at 1:30
  • I agree that this is something that needs to be addressed in the open for once, since apparently it's something that has crossed the mind of multiple high-rep users. – rahuldottech Jun 21 at 2:10
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    I will just point out that there are some older related discussions. For example, Why don't make a Pay version of stackoverflow? or Pay money to SO for quick support and some of the posts linked there. (Of course, the linked questions are quite old, some things might have changed since then.) – Martin Jun 21 at 3:15
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    In a comment that was written in haste and fully thought out, it is unfair not to ask me to clarify some points. I did happen to mention that the site would be free for visitors to see and read. The subscription would come into act when a new user, someone with 1 rep, wants to post a question. The fee would be minimal and be only for a limited period. Actually...come to think of it I DID say that in some later comments. – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 3:24
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    “Meta-Meta commentary: This was a hard question to write. I'd note that any views here do not reflect the mod team, or the folks who own and run the broader network, or even me and I'm writing this literally cause it keeps coming up and I'd like to lay it to rest” So the team is dead set against it. No point in writing a question if you're not going to be impartial and look at its merits and downfalls. I would at this point use strong language but the CoC forbids it. – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 3:27
  • …and fully thought out… sorry, I meant to say ...NOT fully thought out – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 3:35
  • @Mari-LouA I might not agree with the course of action. I do feel its something that ought to be discussed on its own merits. And there's no great way to do this - If I used an alt account, it could be seen as chickening out from the inevitable downvotes. If I use my main one, it could be seen as official. So, its cool - I'll give the viewpoint a voice, as well as I can. If you have suggestions on improving the question, go ahead. – Journeyman Geek Jun 21 at 3:43
  • Which is fine. Its worth considering these posts are for the longer run, and attempt to gauge what the community thinks as a whole. – Journeyman Geek Jun 21 at 3:58
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    I fear that a subscription fee would make it very hard to keep post quality up. How would we justify to close, delete or even edit posts when users are paying for the site? How would we prevent users from feeling entitled to get an answer to their question, regardless of its quality? Any ideas? – Modus Tollens Jun 21 at 4:25
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    The biggest reason not to add a paid tier is because if they did, they'd need to change the URL to stack-exchange.com. – Mark Jun 21 at 19:55
  • Wow is SE going to come up with a good idea? First unfiltered ads/ware is being tested on the network and now offering all this knowledge..... For a price??? I saw another site do something similar once, where you had to pay to see an accepted answer, needless to say they saw significantly less traffic and don't get mine – INL Owner Innonetlife Jun 22 at 1:28
  • And your suggesting blocking voting on it by making it "community" so you can't see how we actually feel about it. Negative answers tend to disappear around here, it seems, too so.......maybe I'm just overreacting – INL Owner Innonetlife Jun 22 at 1:33
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    @INLOwnerInnonetlife You do realize neither Journeyman nor anyone of the people mentioned in this post work for or represent SE, right? He meant to open up this discussion as a sanity check for why we don't want this, not that it's ever been on anyone's table of options. – M.A.R. Jun 22 at 12:14

10 Answers 10

39

If the content is behind a paywall, far fewer people will contribute. I, for one, contribute to a free resource, and would not contribute content for free so that a for-profit company could sell it.

If asking questions is behind a paywall, we’ll just get worse questions, and more entitlement. “Hey, I paid to get my question answered! How dare you close it as off-topic!”

  • 6
    Great point about entitlement. It will be through the roof. – John Dvorak Jun 21 at 14:02
  • I agree with the second half of your answer, but as far as the first paragraph goes--aren't you already contributing content for free so that a for-profit company can sell page views with ads? – scohe001 Jun 21 at 14:38
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    @scohe001: No, I am contributing content for free so that people all over the world can learn from me, for free. Ads on a page pay for the costs of serving that content, I have no problem with that. – Cris Luengo Jun 21 at 14:41
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"You have to pay to get a non-terrible version of the site."

Nobody said this exactly but it's what I hear whenever someone suggests a freemium model. That's not the site I joined and that's not the site I've put so much time into all this time. That's also not what would keep me here.

What we need is for the problems to be fixed instead of trying to work around them. Not just for people with rep, but also for everyone else. Not having a terrible experience browsing the site should not be a privilege.

(I began visiting the network without an account, and I'm doing so a lot again now that I'm working. I don't want to see this ruined.)

  • 1
    Couldn't agree more, and if I could upvote a hundred times I would – INL Owner Innonetlife Jun 22 at 1:29
21

I think that any subscription model other than "pay to remove ads" is going to kill StackExchange.

One of the key things that makes the SE model work is the low barrier to asking, answering, and especially viewing a question. Adding any friction -- especially a high-friction barrier such as paying -- is going to make people go "Why should I bother?", and ask their question elsewhere.

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    I would not mind add friction for asking Qs, but I think $ is the wrong friction. But we 100% have to disabuse the mindset that SE is a free helpdesk and anyone can ask anything here and be entitled to answers and the time and effort of other volunteers. I think we need to make it harder to ask lo quality, no effort, no experience questions. But I don’t think a pay-to-ask model will get us that. An automated system that refuses to post such answers where others can see them until problems in the Q are rectified would. – Dan Bron Jun 21 at 15:09
  • You know, that non free model actually makes sense. It's proven to work and doesn't screw over users too much – INL Owner Innonetlife Jun 22 at 1:30
12

it's time that users bought an annual subscription that provides access to the entire network. New users pay a smaller fee to have access to SE for four months.

I believe that putting a paywall up in front of all content on the SE sites goes against the fundamental idea of the SE network - which is to share knowledge.

  1. Most of our visitors come from search engines, and if you put a paywall in front of all the content on the network, this will be completely cut off.

  2. I'm not sure if it's right to monetize existing (or future) content on the network. I know that one of the reasons that I contribute to the network is because it's free for everyone to access, and is a great learning resource and way to share information and knowledge. Unless the users who are writing the great questions and answers receive compensation for their contributions, this seems like a terrible idea to me.

  3. If everything on the network is going to be behind a paywall, that's going to make it very hard - if not impossible - for us to get new users, since they won't be able to see how the network works or tell how great it is without first signing up and paying? Not gonna work

  4. It'll only be a matter of time before someone comes up with a free, ad-supported alternative to the SE network, because no one wants to pay for access to content written by people who receive no compensation, or to be able to contribute. Think about it this way, I'll be paying both to read content you wrote for which you didn't get paid, and also to be able to contribute myself to the network??


UPDATE

The subscription would come into act when a new user, someone with 1 rep, wants to post a question. The fee would be minimal and be only for a limited period.

So we're making them pay to post a question and get answers? How is that fair if the users actually writing the answers don't receive any compensation for doing so? You cannot just monetize one aspect of the system.

Also, you overestimate just how much the SE network means to strangers to the system. If they see that they need to pay to ask here, they will simply ask elsewhere. There is no shortage of free Q&A sites on the internet. Sure, other websites may not have such high standards of quality, but I believe that in the end it is still us who will lose out, because the pay-to-ask system will discourage them greatly from joining the sites and contributing in the future.

  • Please read my comments under the question. I also added a few clarifications, in a later comment (deleted not by me) which were not mentioned in this post. – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 3:31
  • @Mari-LouA I have updated my answer – rahuldottech Jun 21 at 3:38
  • Again misrepresenting my comment. The best contributors are leaving in their drones because the quality of questions is literally going down the toilet, this is not just an SO thing, it's across the network. If SE cares about keeping its best contributors something must be done about quality, and new contributors who never bother reading the help centre and just come here to post homework questions. The vast majority of new contributors on EL&U post shite. I am not exaggerating. – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 3:45
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    @Mari-LouA I see your point, but I fear that users would still post low quality content, which would be harder to close or delete because they paid for the right to post it... – Modus Tollens Jun 21 at 4:34
  • @Mari-LouA The best contributors are leaving... because of many factors. While question quality might be the one, some of them even left because of SE's own internal action (e.g. unified theme). – Meta Andrew T. Jun 21 at 4:39
12

If SE ever billed me a single penny for asking a question here when I was a 1-rep user, I would never bother to ask it since I could ask somewhere else or work harder to solve my problem on my own. Also, I'm pretty sure that many people share my opinion.

It is even worse than that. Asking for a payment to allow a question is something that seems to be extremely scammy. I immediately close the page or hit the back button when I see any site unexpectly asking for my money.

If the model is billing for answering questions, I don't even need to elaborate further of how bad that idea is.

Further, not everywhere in the world people have access for international credit cards. I for example (live in Brazil), don't have one and don't know much other people which do. So, I probably couldn't pay even if I wanted to.

Another suggestion is to offer a freemium ad-free version of the site. However, why would I pay to remove ads if I can just use an adblocker for free? BTW, nowadays that the internet is full of tracking spammy audio and video porn ads mining bitcoins everywhere continuously abusing my browser, my CPU, my memory and my network, I never ever turn off my adblocker and configure my firewalls to try to block ads to the greatest length possible so they don't overload my network with junk traffic that my internet provider will (righteously) bill me. Also I actively tries to persuade other people do the same and block them. That is getting so bad that I'm starting to hate people who don't have an adblocker and hating much more people who actually click on ads, specially those that are clearly spammy/scammy or resource intensive. SE sites used to be trustful, but they aren't anymore. Also, a business model that works by creating problems (a bunch of ads) just to sell solutions (adfree) is not sane and probably not long-lived.

If SE needs better ways to earn money, billing people for asking questions, posting answers or having less ads is not the way to go.

Some suggestions are:

  • You have a job site that works great for SO AFAIK. Invest in that for other areas too.

  • Promote or sponsor events/meetings/hackatons/whatever and get a percentage of the registration fee. I'm pretty sure that if SO promoted or sponsored some event about, say Java, in some city and for a price that are accessible for me, I would surely do the best to attend it. Of course, you have plenty of options here, from SFF to math, to a lot of areas of programming areas and even to bicycling and cooking.

  • Allow people who want to post non-Q&A content (for example a blog) in SE network do that for a fee and get it promoted in the network somehow.

  • Sell t-shirts, cups and other things like that. I would surely buy some if there was some way to do that (even if I needed to get a borrowed credit card of some friend, with his/her consent).

  • 1
    Well said in that first paragraph. If you pay before asking, you have no way of knowing whether you'll actually get any answers worth having paid for...or any answers at all. And the more complex the question, the more likely you'd be willing to pay for it to be answered...but also the less likely it actually will receive a decent answer. – Kyralessa Jul 5 at 8:53
7

The question isn't expanding on what kind of paywall / paid tier we are talking about, so I will try to discuss various options. I will try to be as objective as possible to avoid putting my feeling as one of the reason this is probably a bad idea.


First option: Hide the content behind a paywall

I am not even sure this is actually possible given that all the content so far has been covered by the Creative Common license - I am not sure it actually allows you to ask for a payment on the content.
What really matter anyway is that it certainly allows for redistribution of the content with basically just the need for attribution. Which means that as soon as Stack would try to hide the content I posted behind some payment requirement... I would be probably allowed to repast the content I posted on another, free host and attribute it to myself. If I felt particularly "evil" I could even build a free browser extension that given a StackExchange question url gives me the equivalent GitHub hosted replica.
I would hereby conclude that this is not possible.

Second option: buyable privileges

It doesn't matter if we are talking about buying rep coins, paying for bounties, unlocking privileges with money or anything else. The second you add "microtransactions" to the SE "game" you are creating two kinds of users: the ones who pay and the ones who don't.
And it gets better from there... yep, because obviously the ones who pay would probably want to actually get some advantage over the ones who don't... And now they are actual paying customers too...

Bought rep? Well, it will be nice to see what happens the first time a paying customer laments that "Mr. Evildoer downvoted him without reason" and some user tell him to "grow up" because "downvoting just means Tim lost his keys again". Maybe so far we were fine with the idea that voting wasn't really that much regulated and no one would need to explain anything - you could even downvote because you didn't like the poster avatar... Now, tell that to the guy that just lost MONEY because you negated his bought rep points. Maybe our voting rules work when there is no money involved, but I am not that sure they would work afterwards.

You bought actual privileges? Great, now you have a customer that have powers than aren't tied to actual merit. Can he close question? He just can edit existing ones? Does his decision to close a question have the same weight of a mere "free tier guest user" (I am starting to think Roblox here...)?

The idea behind reputation was to measure the "trust" you gained, with more "powers" give out the more trusted by the community you are. That way, we "delegate" the more sensible work to the users that have shown to be more trustworthy...
It is pretty evident that the instant you add "buyable TRUST©" to the equation... all falls apart.

Third option: buyable usability

You could try and have users pay in order to get a more user-friendly experience on the site. After all, we already do this: you buy the "reduced ads privilege" with your work on the network. Problem is that users are probably far more inclined to pay with posting answers than they are with actual money.
Pay to remove ads? Well, you are a web site, not an "modifiable" android app... Ads blocker exist for a reason, and I don't think that a race-to-armaments attempt at discouraging ads blocker is a battle SE can hope to win.
Find other usability features to sell to willing users? Again, I don't think it will work. Over the course of the years, a lot of users have already filled holes for features that have historically been ignored: canned comment support, custom alerts ... if you need it, probably there is an user script available. In this case, it seems that there is actually no market available for this.

Buyable Extras

Now this may work.. but I don't actually see what extras could be provided. Autographed Skeet photos? All year round hats? It really depends on what would be offered.


Conclusions: I don't think the network is in the position to try to add buyable content now, but I may be wrong. What I am pretty sure of is that even if you manage to find some way to have buyable stuff that does not get in the way of the normal site usage... you will have to be very wary of the way the "extra" are actually perceived. Far too often the "extras" I see in games and apps seems more like "minuses" for the ones that aren't willing to pay an extra $$$ for the day-one paid DLC of already-on-disk content.

  • Yes! They can sell year-round hats! :p – Cris Luengo Jun 21 at 13:35
  • Any Creative Commons license other than the "Non-Commercial" ones lets you hide the content behind a paywall. It's just that once someone gets past the paywall, they're free to copy the content to a non-paid hosting location. – Mark Jun 21 at 20:24
  • @Mark Yep, that was kinda my point, sorry if it was unclear. I don't know if there is some legal voodoo stuff that would further complicate things (for example: should I be able to access my own post behind the paywall without having to pay?) but one thing is sure - once a single user pays, he can freely repost the content on another non-paid hosting location. – SPArchaeologist Jul 1 at 7:43
7

Experts-Exchange. Our arch enemy. That is what a paid subscription turns Stack Exchange into. Though, less scummy in terms of SEO efforts, so there is that.

Freemium, pay to play, new user boost, what ever you call it, paying for anything will lead to only a few results.

  1. It becomes pay to win for users that have an urge to have the high score. Stack Overflow has done a good job gamifying the site. The dedicated users stick around and in turn see their "score" go up. If paying lets you buy pass "early game" restrictions, you get an immediate boost in points. The users than join out of a sense of helping dwindles because they can't compete with the users that are skipping the early reputation levels. I have seen some really, really, new users that think they are entitled to everything with their first two sentence question. Giving those users the ability to upvote/downvote/comment on other new users posts who put time and effort in a question is going to make this place unwelcoming.

  2. Stack Exchange sees that users are willing to pay for buy passing early reputation levels. Maybe to the point that a user can bounty their question. So, an immediate boost to 75 rep (on SO, I don't recall if that's the same everywhere). One day someone in the accounting department (or an investor) says "We need to make more money!" An option is to let users buy another 75 rep. Or, maybe it's to go up to the next reputation privilege. Of course, to get from 1 to 75 rep cost $X, but I have 10K rep and I really want to see those 20K privileges so I can clean up the site more. Does that additional 10K rep cost the same? Nope. It becomes a slippery slope of "I could work to get to that...or I can drop some money on it" which leads us back to number 1. It's pay to win.

  3. Something is hidden behind the paywall. Reputation levels, content, moderator tools, new abilities. Something. Otherwise there is no point in paying for a subscription. Theoretically, it could all be cosmetic - maybe new Winter Bash hats. I wish I could say that's stupid and no one would buy that, but I can't. Someone would. Then someone else would. Soon people are focused on that aspect of the site and not the content we are all here for now.

Ten years ago, I gravitated to Stack Overflow because I was tired of Experts Exchange. Their content was hidden behind a paywall. Stack Overflow changed that by offering content for free. Users were able to curate that content to make it better. If Stack Overflow wanted to charge a subscription fee, the time to introduce that was a decade ago. Not now.

I agree that the recent ad push feels "off". I have complaints about other initiatives that have been the focus recently too. I wish their was more open communication about finances and why some things are being prioritized over others. But, it's a private company. I don't expect it to happen. I have two choices then: Stick around and accept it or don't accept it and leave. If I stick around, I can continue to voice my opinion.

I can say that, without a doubt, the second a subscription model is put in place for the main Q&A sites, I will not be here any longer.


I couldn't find a good place to put this into my answer, but I found a fascinating post by a former Experts Exchange intern written in 2013 that explains the rise of Stack Overflow from their point of view and some of the poor decisions they made at that time to try and fight against Stack Overflow.

4

As I see it, it's not about money, it's about the "soul" of Stack Exchange. The thing that makes them really special, and stand above all others.

True that many think that it's the quality of the posts, but I consider the "Everything is free for everyone and equally served" that unique thing, when combined with the good quality. (Since other free Q&A sites have awful quality.)

Charging money for asking or viewing answers isn't going to happen due to the various reasons already given in other answers.

However, other option that wasn't mentioned yet is selling privileges for money. e.g. pay $10 monthly to get "Comment Anywhere" privilege. Maybe wrapped nicely under "Premium User" package, not directly selling privileges, but the idea is the same.

And this goes against what I wrote before. The day this happens, SE would lose its soul, and I'll be out, looking for any other Q&A sites which might not have a good quality, but at least they'll keep their dignity. I guess SE will survive, many will still use it, but it won't be the same.

  • *As I see it, it's not about money...‘ How is SE supposed to finance itself? There are developers, designers, etc who need to be paid. It may be voluntary work for ordinary users like yourself and me but try telling an SE employer, with a family to maintain, that their services is for the greater good of the Internet. $10 dollars per month for privileges is, I know, a provocation, but the problem remains. SE needs money if it is to survive long term. Don't be shocked when SE demands that users and visitors alike put their anti-ad plugins on pause or whitelist the site. – Mari-Lou A Jun 21 at 12:38
  • @Mari-LouA I have no big problems with SE using ads, or with a subscription that removes ads. There's money to be made there. Paying for posting, on the other hand, may backfire. – Modus Tollens Jun 21 at 14:41
  • @Mari-LouA ads are necessary evil. I accept that and won't quit over it. But paying directly to post or get privileges is the red line. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 21 at 20:48
4

Any flavor of required payment to use the site (ask, answer, read) should be a non-starter, for reasons already covered in other answers.

Similarly, any system of buying things that affect site operation should also be non-starters. The reputation and privilege systems work because you have to earn the former to get the latter. As soon as you can buy rep or the ability to comment or vote to close or whatever, that model breaks. We must not do that.

SE could produce some income by selling swag; people have asked for the ability to buy t-shirts, plush unicorns, and other stuff quite a bit over the years. But that has operational costs and I doubt they'd gain enough to be worth the effort; not everybody who says "I want to buy an X" will actually spend the money and place the order if it becomes possible. So while a swag store would be nice, it's not going to make a significant difference to the balance sheet.

That leaves intangibles, things like being able to pay for year-round access to hats or to add some marker to your username or even just to be listed on a page of patrons. Think of patronage models, where people who want to give you money because they want to support their favorite sites, and for which they get a little bit of recognition but not goods/services for fees paid. This probably won't produce that much revenue; while it works for Wikipedia, EFF, NPR, and bunches of other organizations, what they have in common is that they're non-profit institutions. SE is not, and that's going to deter people.

On the other hand, it's probably not that hard to set up if it's just recognition and not something like hats, so it might be worth them setting it up anyway on the theory that it'll pay for itself quickly. Someone who knows a lot more than I do about business/market analysis would have to evaluate that idea.

  • 1
    SE actually did operate a store in 2012, but it was shut down due to operational overhead. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Jun 21 at 18:49
  • Donations to a for-profit company? That doesn’t make sense. They would have to spin off a non-profit to run the SE Q&A sites, and keep the paid services within their company. Not sure how that would look... – Cris Luengo Jun 22 at 0:16
  • @CrisLuengo they don't need to spin off a non-profit. Starbucks puts out a tips jar. – Monica Cellio Jun 23 at 3:12
-1

IMO, the hard part is drawing the line between commercial revenue and the "free" community, and I feel that GitHub does this pretty well, which will accompany throughout my writing this answer.

Point 1 is, I'm against putting any content that's currently free behind a paywall. Everyone gets to host unlimited public repositories for free, have unlimited open-source collaboration for free, and have full-fledged feature sets for their public repositories for free. This should never change, nor should the counterpart on Stack Exchange change. It must remain free (of charge) for users to ask questions, get answers, no distraction, and to earn most existing privileges (up/down-voting, flagging, reviewing, editing, closing, etc.) for free.

Then how could Stack Exchange offer "Premium Class"? Still take a look at GitHub: Users who pay US$7 per month get access to private repositories (this has changed since January 2019, but not as important) and other features, without being any different from "free" users in terms of public interaction. This is the key. While the above saying is too absolute, the real differences are subtle: You get a blue "PRO" badge/banner that you can opt-in to show, and publishing Pages from private repositories. Things aren't any different when it comes to interaction: You don't get any amazing FX while submitting an issue, or a VIP spotlight in your PR. Except that, you get everything else that does not make unpaid users feel bad.

So this is what Stack Exchange can offer: Anything that doesn't break the equality between paid users and unpaid ones. While I'm not an expert at marketing, a few examples that one could easily come up with include: Increased length limit and a private "edit history" for About Me, private favorite list, etc. And I think most people would also be fine having a "PRO" badge on profiles of paid users (profile page and expanded usercard). The last one is what everyone would like: remove ads without 200 reputation.

  • What are " private repositories "? What would that mean on Stack Exchange, or on EL&U, give me an example, please. – Mari-Lou A Jun 25 at 5:33
  • Does it mean only paid subscribers get to post questions and answers on a special page? – Mari-Lou A Jun 25 at 5:35
  • @Mari-LouA That doesn't necessarily correspond to anything on SO. I brought it up as an example of a good "premium offer" that doesn't disrupt other users' experiences on using the site. – iBug Jun 25 at 5:41
  • @Mari-LouA Forgot to actually integrate into my answer: Teams is a good move (though it doesn't look that revenue-y) – iBug Jun 25 at 5:43
  • …I brought it up as an example of a good "premium offer"… OK, but what's the PO on Stack Exchange, what's the "carrot"? How do you get users to say "I need this in my life, I am willing to pay for it because it's fantastic."? What would a Premium Class offer that having a fee account wouldn't? – Mari-Lou A Jun 25 at 6:12
  • "Anything that doesn't break the equality between paid users and unpaid ones" - but what you suggest will do just that. Even if something which appear minor like increased length limit. – Shadow The Dragon Wizard Jun 25 at 10:17

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