As many of our free users are now aware, we have restricted free accounts to 7 uploads per week and 100 uploads total. But why have we done this?
It all started a couple of weeks ago when our site literally exploded in users:
This, we believe, came about as a result of the huge amount of work we had done over the preceding 4 months in SEO and site usability work. For example, HTTPS was brought in, and average loading time for pages was reduced massively. This, in turn, lifted us up Google rankings and resulted in a huge increase in our traffic, a some 300% increase. Unfortunately, with this came the spam. We have had thousands of images uploaded onto our free accounts with people purely looking to make a quick buck, which, is not what Clickasnap is about. Our aim is to be a high quality imagery site, and this definitely was not the way to go.
So, a solution was brought in to start separating out the purely money driven, lower quality users from the high quality imagery that we want uploaded to the platform. The solution was quite simple; bring in a very small monthly payment to use the site properly. In our case, £2 per month, or £1.63 per month if paid annually. This in turn would filter the users. After all, any photographer knows that even the cheapest photo sharing site (Flickr) is some £60 per year just to upload your photos. Whereas, any user who is just after money can move to a site like Virily.
Why else did we do this?
Well, we have had, for some time, complaints from paid users that their feed is full of spam shares, that they are tired of seeing the same imagery uploaded over and over by the same users and the spam comments, as well as the whole ‘If you view my image i’ll view your image’ ethos that has sprung up to a certain extent within our community. Often to the detriment of those users who see us as a photo sharing site where you can get cash back, versus those users who upload as much rubbish as possible and embrace the ‘like for like’ culture purely to get paid views. We have also had some very good photographers turn down the site because of the spam uploaded by many of our free users. None of this is where I envisaged Clickasnap to be, or where I, or our paid users want it to go. By introducing a fee, we plan to professionalise the site. You may think this is unfair, but, the reality is, if you want to monetise your own content on your own website, you have to invest in this, and it is often, considerably more than £2 a month.
Those users who make less than this will leave the site. Those users that don’t care about the paid views will stay on the site, and those that make more than this will be encouraged to upload more of the high quality content that they have been uploading so far. This will, certainly initially, drop the quantity of uploads. However, This in turn, coupled with all our new SEO work to bring in people to view photos will result in more traffic, more views, more sales and ultimately, as the £2 fee per person covers a good chunk of their profile operating costs, means that if the advertising sector ever recovers we should be able to lift the amount we pay per view. And with a smaller volume of higher quality imagery, those that do get the views, will get more
It is interesting to note that we do have precedent on this. Sometime ago we blocked free accounts from unlimited daily uploads, down to just 7 per day and this guided the site in the direction we wanted. It will be interesting to see what effect our latest strategic move has on the site and it’s community.
This is an experiment, and it may fail, or it may succeed. The truth is, that what we are doing with Clickasnap, has never been done before, and those that have tried, have failed.
For those users who stay with us, thankyou. For those that decide to move on, best wishes to you
Founder & CEO