Like most apps and business they offer you free things then offer more at your cost. Where this business went sour was offering free services in the beginning (thank you Marco Polo creators) but then they did what I believe is an unethical business model and quite a greedy thing. They took away features that use to be free and forced you to pay for services that were once free. For example. I had the earlier version of the app and could slide the time marker ball to fast forward or rewind to specific parts of a polo. Now the only “free” feature I have is forward in 10 second increments or reverse in 10 second increments. Second example is in emoji responses. I use to be able to respond with more emojis than are now available since the updated version. To respond with more varied live emoji responses I must subscribe to $60 a year (ludicrous price for this service) just so I can do something more than digitally smile at people. This borders on censorship. You have to pay them money to not be censored in your communication with people you care about. Sound like a good business model? No. Sound like a business that cares about your ability to connect with limitless expression to people you care about? No. At this point I’m trying to figure out why on earth I don’t just send videos to people through my normal FREE messaging app on my phone that way I have access to my entire emoji responses, can rewind and fast forward to anywhere I want with immediacy of an unlocked and FREE slider bar along with WAY BETTER VIDEO AND AUDIO QUALITY ON MY PHONE’S NATIVE MESSAGING CLIENT. Poor business model. Burning your users in this way is deplorable. I wouldn’t be so disappointed if you hadn’t created such a great app in the first place so I guess you’ve got me there. Great app! Just wish I wasn’t made to pay for things that were previously free. Upsetting to say the least.
I’ve been using Marco Polo for four years. I’ve loved it. Until they introduced Marco Polo plus. After having continued to use the app, here are my issues:
1. Not only did they put a big price tag on key features (like 2x playback), but they did on little trivial features too (like swiping and scrubbing to move through Polos), and it’s just downright annoying and unnecessary. Like, if I can still touch a skip ahead button, why can’t I just scrub ahead to wherever I want? The answer is because they want to annoy me into paying some outlandish price.
2. The price. Quite honestly, I probably would have paid for Marco Polo Plus if they had charged a one time fee (I’d have been ok with $10-$15, which is a lot for an app). But instead they want to charge me $60 on a yearly basis! I pay less than that for half of my streaming services combined! The price is far too much for what they offer.
3. Here’s my biggest issue: they put a price tag on features that were previously free. I realize that they also introduced new features, which is great! And honestly, if they had done a one time fee (as previously mentioned) for JUST the new features, I still would have been inclined to pay it because the new features really are appealing. But instead they took away what I already knew and loved. Not cool.
Overall, I’m very disappointed with the new business model. I understand that it takes money to keep the app going, but there are so many better ways you could have gone about than all this, not to mention the piss poor timing. Please help me show Marco Polo that there is a better way to get the money they need - don’t subscribe to their premium version.
My wife and I have used this app for quite some time with our family. As pretty much everybody here knows, during the COVID peak time this spring, they shifted from a free model to a paid model. They locked features down that were previously free and are charging an exorbitant amount for their plus subscription. They grandfathered prior users in for a bit, but that went away now as well. While I understand the need to monetize, there’s no way I will be paying $20 a month for my wife and me get this app back to the features we had before. Oh, I know we can pay $120 for the year to bring it down to $10 a month (family plan) but that is still a very steep price for something we won’t get that value back from. (I prefer being able to manage my subscriptions on a month to month basis without doubling the price) If a $5 monthly plan worked for two people we would consider it. The second star is for the great concept, but we are highly disappointed with their monetization strategy.
I’ve been using MP for few years, but much more so when the pandemic started. The fact that the developers are now charging a monthly fee for features that were previously free is super frustrating. I actually dread listening to some of the messages I receive from those long-winded friends & family because I can’t speed up the play through like I used to. I use the app much less now because they now make you pay for the simplest features. I would have gladly paid a one-time fee for a premium app, or even listened to some ads, but I am not going to pay for a monthly subscription. It feels to many people (if you read the reviews) that we’ve been screwed during a time that we rely on communication apps the most.
I’ve had this app for about 2 years and it was awesome. I have friends spread throughout the world and it was such a great way to stay connected in a more meaningful way than text/email. HOWEVER during the pandemic, at the time when most of the world was in some sort of quarantine, they added a paywall. The feature that I used the most and absolutely loved was the ability to increase the playback speed (like with YouTube videos and podcasts). You have to upgrade to Plus and pay to use this feature. You have to upgrade to Plus to be able to do anything within the app besides recording and viewing video messages. It was such a great app and now i just feel bitter using it because I knew how great it used to be.
We all thought this was a really cool and NECESSARY way to stay in touch with our family and friends all over the world, but to take away what used to be free and now make you pay for it? What other company has done that? Adding features and making you pay for it I understand, but taking things away? Beyond frustrating.
If that wasn’t enough, they don’t even allow you to pay monthly. $60 for the whole year or nothing. Who has that kind of money just sitting around for an app?
It has never been more obvious to me about where a company’s priorities are, which I originally thought was with the customer and their need to see family. You will never see a penny from me, Marco Polo. So sad to see these updates.
I appreciate any company that tries to make a profit. In fact I’ve never understood why someone would get upset that they pay more than “cost” and a person or company makes a profit. That’s the way it is supposed to work. But to let X amount of users use your app and then take all features away, not leaving them anything, is not good practice. It seems like a terrible model. I use this app very rarely now vs all the time. If they would simply give us back the ability to skip/reverse 10 seconds and listen on 2x speed I’d be satisfied. So make sure your friends don’t speak for extended periods of time if you don’t pay or else you’ll be listening in real time. It’s a great app if you can pay.
Please give us an option to return to the old version. The new version is crippled unless you spend $10 per month or $60 per year, which is ridiculous and a really bad business model. No one pays that for a messaging app these days. You have built a good product but I can’t ask my friends to use Marco Polo or recommend it now because of the crazy cost. Most people I know are at their limit with monthly subscriptions with tv subscriptions like Apple TV, Netflix, etc. you want to charge the same amount for a messaging app... Please consider selling the app for $5.00 or having a $1 per month or $10 per year subscription. $60 is ridiculous and I can’t spend that in good conscious.
This app is amazing. It really is. However as a broke college student, 10 bucks a month isn't worth the switch from texting. The free version isn’t too bad if you’ve got all the time in the world. However, the key feature of Marco Polo that had allowed me to use it as a way of communication that both saved time AND allowed for better, higher quality conversations was the 2x speed. I NEVER write reviews but I thought I should at least thank Marco Polo for the 2 years that I enjoyed using it. I have since stepped away from the app, even deleting it, but if you’ve got time and/or money on hand? This new Marco Polo is the app for you.
I’ve been using the app for a little while with several groups I am in. I am in the app a dozen or more times a day. It works fine I like that it’s more than a text message. I would really like to have the option to play it at two times the speed without having to pay for it or pay as much for it as being charged. Yeah there’s some extra things That might be worth paying for but the cost is definitely too high and I’m not willing to pay it just to listen to really slow talking people on fast forward. Drop the price to a dollar maybe possibly two anything more than that definitely not.