Evernote, the popular notetaking app, has announced significant changes to its free user plan, effective from December 4. The update, which limits free users to a single notebook with a maximum of 50 notes, marks a drastic shift in the company’s approach to its free service offerings.
In a recent blog post, Evernote, now under the ownership of Milan-based Bending Spoons, detailed these changes, stating that free users will need to delete existing content to make room for new notes if they exceed the 50-note limit. This development comes shortly after the company conducted a test with less than 1% of its free users, aiming to encourage upgrades to its paid plans.
For users with more than 50 notes currently in their free accounts, Evernote is offering the option to export additional notes and notebooks. While the company has clarified the changes on its plan comparison page, it remains unclear if there will be adjustments to the limits or pricing of its premium plans, which are currently priced at $14.99 and $17.99 per month.
Evernote acknowledges that most of its free users operate within these new limits but also admits that the change may lead some customers to “reconsider” their use of the app. This decision follows Bending Spoons’ acquisition of Evernote in November 2022 and a subsequent layoff of 129 employees in February 2023, citing years of unprofitability.
Evernote’s drastic reduction in free plan allowances seems to be a strategic move to enhance profitability and streamline its user base. However, this change could backfire by alienating a significant portion of its long-time users who have relied on the free service. In the competitive notetaking app market, where many alternatives offer generous free plans, Evernote’s decision could push users to explore other options. For marketers, this highlights the delicate balance between monetization and user retention.