Price hike, no more ticket support - enough signals from Invision

FTL

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Personally... I've found that FB is a NIGHTMARE if a post has 500-600 comments. You get a notification of a reply, you click on that notification and it simply takes you (usually) to the main post. Every now and then you may get lucky and it actually take you to the reply itself. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to scroll through 500-600 comments that I'm not really interested in just to find the one reply.
Oh hell, it's worse than that.

Even with posts that have much less comments than that, say just 50, it can often be impossible to find the one referred to, especially as the conversation is threaded. I basically hate Facebook nowadays for various reasons, especially due to their dodgy automated moderation, and only use it for short periods to catch on groups I'm in and stay in touch with friends.
 

Lewis3262

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Wow, I was considering Invision Community for a project, but this has completely put me off. Despite Invision having some good features added recently, including anonymous posting without needing addons/plugins, this is really disappointing, even though slightly old news now. No support? They can F right off.
 

Square Wheels

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Wow, I was considering Invision Community for a project, but this has completely put me off. Despite Invision having some good features added recently, including anonymous posting without needing addons/plugins, this is really disappointing, even though slightly old news now. No support? They can F right off.
There is forum support. If that fails, they create a ticket for you.
I would not recommend IPS to a new customer. It feels clear they want out of the self-hosted business and are pricing the hobby sites out of their hosting option.
 

Pete

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They’re going where the money is. All businesses are going to position themselves where they can make the mone… If they want to stay in business, at least.
 
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FTL

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I've seen a thread over at the Invision company forum about their future direction. They were quite candid, saying that they had no plans at the moment to drop the self hosted version, but said that the trend is going hosted, so said it could happen one day.

Not the news we want to hear, but it seemed quite honest to me and understandable from a business perspective.
 

Pete

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Matt himself has said the exact same thing *here* and got the same level of angry result about it.

I get why this is awkward and unfortunate for all concerned but at the same time, I find it hard to fault IPS for looking after themselves. I do get why some feel like this is a betrayal but catering to the hobbyist market is of limited commercial viability.
 

mysiteguy

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Matt himself has said the exact same thing *here* and got the same level of angry result about it.

I get why this is awkward and unfortunate for all concerned but at the same time, I find it hard to fault IPS for looking after themselves. I do get why some feel like this is a betrayal but catering to the hobbyist market is of limited commercial viability.

I believe their pricing model is deliberately designed to create a self-fulfilling prophesy when it comes to hobbyists, and plenty to fault them for.
 

Pete

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I’ve wondered about that a lot. Especially when I think about XenForo’s pricing, which is definitely still in the hobbyist tier, but if they were to bring out a set of first party plugins to realistically compete with IPS, I wonder if we’d be having the same discussion about XF pricing themselves out of the hobbyist market.

The reality is though that businesses do have bigger pockets for funding and IPS has, what, 20 people on staff these days. That immediately sets out a position of overheads that has to be accounted for, vs the 5-6 at XF.
 

Nev_Dull

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But wait. If forums are dead, as we've been told over and over, why would a business invest in one? Sarcasm aside, if a majority of a business's customers are more likely to use discord or social media sites, it would be far more beneficial (and cheaper) for the business to focus support offerings there. Most medium to large businesses employ social media "experts" in their PR teams already. Having to hire or re-task people to manage a forum as well is not inexpensive.
 

Ramses

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Why not take the whole cake to make the maximum profit? So both enterprise customers and the hobby sites. To focus only on the few Enterprise customers would be a big mistake in my opinion. Or what customers with an available budget of over $6000 run a forum nowadays?
 

rafalp

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Business customers are just much much much better margin than Joes. You setup site for them on your cloud. You make a theme for them, few plugins to do those extra behaviors they want. Then you answer an email with questions or fix/update/tweak plugins every few weeks for next few years, still billing them for hefty paycheck every month.

Why not take the whole cake to make the maximum profit? So both enterprise customers and the hobby sites. To focus only on the few Enterprise customers would be a big mistake in my opinion. Or what customers with an available budget of over $6000 run a forum nowadays?
Consider that there are companies paying ten times that monthly for however Lithium Social forum software is called now.
 
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Pete

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Why not take the whole cake to make the maximum profit? So both enterprise customers and the hobby sites. To focus only on the few Enterprise customers would be a big mistake in my opinion. Or what customers with an available budget of over $6000 run a forum nowadays?

Well, let's get them comparable first... on the one hand, you could have just the calendar - no renewal, or just the Gallery for $30/year renewal which is $2.50 a month in renewal fees. Or you could have just the forum at $80/year ($6.66/month). Or even a fully loaded IPS self-hosted is $300 renewal for the year, giving you $25 per month as the best case deal.

Consider for a moment, $25/month vs $6000/month. Now, let's put aside the specifics of support and the differences between supporting self-hosting vs supporting cloud, and simply consider for a minute the cost of simply *interacting* is a tricky comparison.

I don't know how much the IPS folks are paid, but I consider that if a single self-hoster makes a topic for support, once a month, the simple cost of IPS staff responding to it has a chance of that being a net loss to IPS to service that depending on how long they spend on the issue.

Is that possible with the enterprise customer? Sure, but they're also likely to put their hands in their pockets for further support.
 

zappaDPJ

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Consider that there are companies paying ten times that monthly for however Lithium Social forum software is called now.
Lithium merged with Spredfast to become Khoros. More recently Khoros has gone into acquisition mode taking in companies specializing in analytics and AI. It's way more powerful than any other platforms talked about here but as you quite rightly say, it's also cost prohibitive. That said, the cost is immaterial to the companies who use it.
 

Ramses

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$6000/month
$6000 a year (!). Now look at the average forum operators, they buy one time forum, gallery, pages $500 then annually for renewal $150. Some customers pay a little less, but some pay much more. If we calculate 100 new customers per year with average revenue of $300 that's 300x100=$30,000. To achieve that with business key accounts you would need six of them per year. Really big fish that could pay even more, such as LEGO, HTC, Sage, Mattel, you get maybe once every two years. I'm sure no one here knows the exact numbers, but I would roughly estimate that the ratio between normal customers and major customers in income per year is maybe 50:50. But you are right, cloud customers cause less support costs.
 

Pete

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$6000 a year (!). Now look at the average forum operators, they buy one time forum, gallery, pages $500 then annually for renewal $150. Some customers pay a little less, but some pay much more. If we calculate 100 new customers per year with average revenue of $300 that's 300x100=$30,000. To achieve that with business key accounts you would need six of them per year. Really big fish that could pay even more, such as LEGO, HTC, Sage, Mattel, you get maybe once every two years. I'm sure no one here knows the exact numbers, but I would roughly estimate that the ratio between normal customers and major customers in income per year is maybe 50:50. But you are right, cloud customers cause less support costs.

My bad, $6000/year, $500 a month - still 20x the revenue of the top of the self-hosting tier. And that's not the biggest plan.

However, you're arguing that the 'average forum operator' buys those modules... I really don't think the *average* buys those. I reckon forum on its own ($80/year) or *maybe* forum + pages ($120/year).

I think $300 revenue for a customer is achievable; that's forum + 1 renewal. Let's be fair and call it $250 + $80 = $330 for forum plus one year's renewal. Versus $6000 for a business customer.

IPS clearly feels that it's becoming a fairer tradeoff for 20 hobbyists per business tier (not even enterprise) customer. And that's just the revenue before you factor in the relative costs of servicing the accounts.
 

zoldos

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No ticket support for a paid software suite? What the freak? Besides, I haven't used Invision since 2006. lol
 

FTL

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No ticket support for a paid software suite? What the freak? Besides, I haven't used Invision since 2006. lol
It's not quite zero. Customers can't log tickets, but they can make forum posts asking for a ticket to be logged due to the nature of their issue, eg account profile personal info, and the staff will log one. Apparently members generally like it.
 

haqzore

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It means that the pool of knowledge is larger for general support, and private support can be obtained where relevant or appropriate.
Wow. Way to go entirely off topic.

Had you actually read the thread, you'd see we are discussing unsubstantiated & emotional claims of non support via implementation of the exact support model many of these complainers wanted in the past.

Please do better next time & leave logic out of discussions it clearly has no place in.
 
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