Matt Mullenweg has just announced two new interersting additional features to WordPress.com
Just launched some pretty major features at WordPress.com: private blogs, store, and custom CSS.
I am more interested in the insight into their monetization strategy though.
So the idea is you buy credits at $1 each. For the new Custom CSS (and only so far) product it will cost you 15 credits, so that is $15 a year for the privelage of tweaking your theme. If only a percentage of users take this up that is plenty of cash into the coffers and I expect this to be the first of many small, cheap upgrades that together will probably add up to a pretty sum.
My first reaction was this seems a pretty lame first product if you ask me, I can think of others I would have preferred. After thinking on it a while I think this is a good move. This nicely introduces the WordPress.com user base to the idea that it’s not all free without holding a gun to the users head saying “pay up or lose out”. Anyone using WordPress.com just because it is free will probably not miss this functionality, those who are interested in a more unique look will not be overly put off by the price tag.
This will be interesting to observe. Good move Matt and co, I hope it is well received.