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Author Topic: Ad-free, purchasable mobile GasBuddy option? Back to Topics
TheJediCharles

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Message Posted: Aug 28, 2013 10:02:44 PM

Any chance in releasing a 2nd downloadable option (like most highly successful apps, particularly games) of a purchasable ad-free mobile GasBuddy app?

I'm sure I'm not the only one that would find it worth a couple of bucks to get rid of them. To me, free-to-download, ad-engorged apps exist only for the sake of evaluation. As soon as I decide it's worth having and using, I just buy them and rid myself of ads. My eyeball time, even a split-second glance, is worth it to me.
REPLIES (newest first) Topic is locked
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 11, 2013 6:44:03 AM

I agree TxJeans. This is turning into a spitting contest.

Moderators please lock this topic.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 1:28:43 PM

The hall monitor has spoken.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 10:51:30 AM

RG - again... time to close this thread.

No one said that the OP did not have the right to his opinion. Others just expressed THEIR opinions.

"As was noted early on, some popular smartphone apps are offered free with accompanying advertisements, or alternatively ad free in a paid version. The same is true of some longstanding online information services. This basic model seems to be working for other companies who have the technical wherewithal to create and distribute the necessary software. "

The PTB have already indicated their take over a week ago.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 8:42:30 AM

It should be obvious that the relative few here who claim that they would or wouldn't spend $5 or $10 for an ad free app or $5 or $10 for an annual subscription are in the same ignored minority as we very few who post here in this particular forum. Polling elsewhere among the minority of GB members who participate online will likely just result in more of the same; however, the OP and his suggestion will have been swept from the Suggest a GasBuddy improvement forum; at least this seems to be the intended result of the advice that has been given.

So sounds the death knell of another discussion that ends with the topic should be closed or take it elsewhere. No surprises here.

Disregarding the OP's attempt to bow out, and the challenging last word that followed, I'll reply to the comment allowing as how this is an "area for discussion".

If this indeed a discussion of the validity of an ad free version of the app as TXJeans asserts, then why not do so without interjecting irrelevant personal buying preferences as a predicate? In re-reading the responses, I don't see where anyone has made a legitimate and fact based case explaining why a paid version does anything but provide another option that generates additional revenue. If there is such an argument, then let's hear it.

As was noted early on, some popular smartphone apps are offered free with accompanying advertisements, or alternatively ad free in a paid version. The same is true of some longstanding online information services. This basic model seems to be working for other companies who have the technical wherewithal to create and distribute the necessary software.

On the other hand, it seems apparent that this probably isn't the case here at GB right now. Like nearly all of the suggestions made here, the bottom line is that management isn't either ready or willing to make significant programming changes at this time.

RG
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 8:23:06 AM

Backhanded? Wow. Just wow.
Quite confirming.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:30:02 AM

Sorry ByteDoctor - I see that Jedi misquoted thus my misquote.

And, like you, I don't disagree with the quote in it's original context:
"The nature of the site attracts those who do not like to spend more than they have to."

That does not make them "tightwads".
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:16:57 AM

TheJedi wrote "Byte Doctor,I like how you gently say "those who do not like to spend more than they have to."

I did not write that. I don't disagree with the statement in its original context, but maxstar was the one who posted it.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 7:11:29 AM

RG "Why either of these groups care whether others buy an ad free version as their contribution to site revenue is once again a mystery?"

This is an area for discussion. A discussion will include those that agree and disagree with an idea and in this case those that will not necessarily disagree but just state that they would not use it. The discussion was less about caring if a particular person would by and ad free version, but their opinion on if they and others would use it and if it would bring in enough revenue to be worth the maintenance and distribution, and fit the desired image of The Gasbuddy Organization and OPIS and suggestions on how to mitigate any annoyance of the ads.

TheJedi "Byte Doctor,I like how you gently say "those who do not like to spend more than they have to." All you had to do is say "us tightwads." Saves time, more direct."

No, just because someone would not spend money on such an app does not mean they are "tightwads". Some just choose where to spend their money and this was not one of them.

Gas_buddy had a good idea in suggesting a poll to see if there is more interest because only then might it be worth it to continue this discussion.

Over a week ago, Don respectfully replied and indicated:
"GasBuddy has never been a pay-to-use service and it was never intended to be, I'm not entirely sure that is the direction GB wants to move toward.

The idea has been suggested several times over the years but it's never really taken off with the site co-founders."

TheJedi "I don't want to sound ungrateful for the attempts to help me understand what I never misunderstood, but I'm going to sort of release this thread to whatever value it might otherwise be serving."

"I'm happy to just drop it while I'm behind and extend thanks to everyone for what should be thanked for."I think it is time to "release it" and lock it down. Especially with that back handed remark.
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 10, 2013 12:22:05 AM

I don't want to sound ungrateful for the attempts to help me understand what I never misunderstood, but I'm going to sort of release this thread to whatever value it might otherwise be serving. Since the outset it's been mostly an exercise in talking in circles and either not understanding my points (or my poorly stating them) and giving me well-meaning non-sequitur responses or interpreting my points in an over-stated, overly-important degree never intended..
I could continue to respond to each in an attempt to clarify, but it just mushrooms. I meant this entire suggestion as only that and for a site and app that I have nothing but positive things to say and persistently recommend it to people, but I don't seem to be taken as such. I'm happy to just drop it while I'm behind and extend thanks to everyone for what should be thanked for.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 11:57:30 PM

Several paragraphs into his typically lengthy diatribe, Gas_Station_Buddy claimed:

"Second, most gas stations have the same mark-up per gallon that they've had for the past five or six decades, about 9 to 12 cents per gallon. Said another way, the mark-up (not profit, mark-up) has been the same since some time between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While the price of gas has gone up, and the gas stations having the same mark-up, then you need to be sticking it to someone other than the gas stations."

I'm not sure I even understand the rest of what was said here but, with all due respect, challenge the validity of the dubious implication as fact that gas station mark-up has been steady for the last 60 years. From where is this ludicrous data derived?

RG

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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 7:41:37 PM

The Ads have never bothered me on the APP and I definitely would not pay for an Ad free Website access. Although I would not pay to use the APP, and suspect many on the site would not pay, I am not inherently against it. I am not sure with the different platforms if a one time purchase would be enough, or a subscription service. I will admit not knowing how much effort it would take to make, distribute and maintain the free and paid versions.

That said, the PTB have indicated many time that it is not the direction the site founders have shown an interest in going. That might or might not change with the recent union with OPIS. Maybe.

"The response is, while it might be a minority, secondary motive, there are some of us out there who use the app to help OTHERS save money AND (here's a biggie) participate in sticking it to highway-robbing stations by the movement of information, exactly what they don't want. I fall pretty strongly into those two categories myself and would appreciate GasBuddy making this a choosable option in the mobile app. "

The question is not if YOU would use the Ad free app to help others save money, but if there would be enough to be worth supporting an ad free app and it's maintenance and distribution. They may also worry about the perception that those that have supported the site under the free mode are somehow losing out on something as they move to a paid version, even when keeping a free version. Or that over time the "FREE" would be eliminated.

Gas_Buddy already the "participate in sticking it to highway-robbing stations.
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Gas_Buddy
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 6:44:37 PM

"...AND (here's a biggie) participate in sticking it to highway-robbing stations by the movement of information, exactly what they don't want."

Maybe I don't see the obvious, but I don't see how Gas Buddy having a paid app will stick it to he highway-robbing stations by the movement of information.

First, if you're going to "stick it to the gas stations", then getting more members to participate on the free version will be the most advantageous way to do that; people like free more than like paying for things, and this website is about saving money, not spending money. And the more that participate, the more you're getting your message across (that message being the sharing of information).

Second, most gas stations have the same mark-up per gallon that they've had for the past five or six decades, about 9 to 12 cents per gallon. Said another way, the mark-up (not profit, mark-up) has been the same since some time between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. While the price of gas has gone up, and the gas stations having the same mark-up, then you need to be sticking it to someone other than the gas stations.

Third, if gas stations didn't want the movement of information, then they wouldn't be participating in the GB Direct program and they wouldn't be posting the price of their product where you can see it while driving past the gas station. Most gas stations try to be competitive with the station next door or down the street; if they're not, and they know that you'll drive down the block to save a penny a gallon, they'll lose you as a potential customer, something that they don't want to do, even if their "mark-up" is minimal. They're, for the most part, competitive or price-matching the lowest station so you'll shop at their station, and not at the other station.

Fourth, the moderators have said on a number of occasions - to include a post in this discussion - that they don't foresee a paid version of Gas Buddy, so the point is essentially moot at this time. It best, it's not something that this discussion will overcome.

Now, just a suggestion: If you want to try to get a feeling for the interest in a paid-version of Gas Buddy (forgetting that, in multiple threads that discussed a paid app, an overwhelming number of members have said they wouldn't pay or that it's a "non-starter", start a discussion topic where it will be seen by more members than in Suggest a GasBuddy improvement. Start it in Off Topic and make it a simple survey with a distinct and clear topic name, something that will get a member's attention, and then as a limited amount of questions or choices. You don't want something open-ended or you'll get diatribes. On the other hand, you don't want a simple Yes or No response because that provides you with no understanding or reasoning for the response. For example, you could start a discussion such as:

- - - - - - - - - - -

[Topic] Survey to determine if members would support an purchasable ad-free Gas Buddy mobile app

[Original post, incorporating some of the words in your original post for this thread] This survey is to determine if members would support a purchasable Gas Buddy mobile app that would be ad-free, thereby saving the member time from having to view advertisements before viewing and/or posting gas prices, and reduce the "clutter" of the viewing screen. Please indicate, simply:

I would/would not pay for a Gas Buddy mobile app

and provide a short (one or two sentence) reason for your response.

- - - - - - - - - - -

Then, after you've compiled quantifiable results, you might have something that would convince the operators of Gas Buddy that a paid app would be acceptable. (That it would be feasible is not the same as acceptable.)

Just my opinion.
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 4:51:20 PM

The "people come here to save money, not spend it" point has already been stated, and responded to. The response is, while it might be a minority, secondary motive, there are some of us out there who use the app to help OTHERS save money AND (here's a biggie) participate in sticking it to highway-robbing stations by the movement of information, exactly what they don't want. I fall pretty strongly into those two categories myself and would appreciate GasBuddy making this a choosable option in the mobile app.
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RichWLIN
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 2:54:49 PM

A similar annual subscription idea was suggested and bantered at length sometime back with some of the same advocates and antagonists. This idea seems a bit better in my opinion since it ostensibly involves the purchase of an ad free app in place of the freely distributed version, and does not suggest an annual subscription payment.

Some folks here report that they aren't in favor of the OP and would not pay for an optional ad free version, while still others tout the use of ad blocking and revenue defeating applications. Same old story. Of course, it is a member's prerogative to help pay for the website by viewing ad placements, or to simply participate free while blocking ads. Why either of these groups care whether others buy an ad free version as their contribution to site revenue is once again a mystery?

In the final analysis, it is the GasBuddy owners who don't see the profitability in this suggestion, so it is obviously a moot point whether anyone here would pay for an ad free app download or not.

RG



[Edited by: RichWLIN at 9/9/2013 2:56:18 PM EST]
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kwzh
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Message Posted: Sep 9, 2013 1:16:04 AM

Come to think of it, if that message was posted independently of the original discussion, it might not even involve a mobile device at all. I'll ignore it until further information comes in.
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 8, 2013 12:31:56 PM

Well, kwzh, you can't read news articles on the app, which is what the OP was talking about. And they can't be read on the mobile site so 17AZ-F250 must be reading these on the full website on a mobile device. I just checked this and there are ads that do pop up when reading news articles from the full website on a mobile device! AdBlockPlus solves this.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 8, 2013 6:39:09 AM

KWZH, that is the reason I posted-
If the PAID version did not get enough support at the charge they set due to those using the APP being money savers and not willing to pay, would they drop the PAID version or would it be subsidized by the free version with current or more ads? I don't know.

But, I would never pay for a version of Gasbuddy as this is a site to save money (not play apps games).

Don has already indicated that this has come up before and that the site co-founders haven't been interested.

As for 17AZ-F250's problem...I didn't realize you could read the NEWS on the APP. That sounds like a rouge ad on the Web-site. And would be a separate topic to an Ad-free mobile app.
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kwzh
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Message Posted: Sep 8, 2013 3:22:04 AM

17AZ-F250 specifically said that when reading a news item, the ad "pops up in the middle" (presumably blocking the text of the article), and that there's no apparent way to dismiss it. This is what I'm asking others to confirm or refute -- scoutmaster's "unobtrusive" ad would seem to be something else.

17AZ-F250: One more question -- can you get a screen snapshot when this happens, so we can make sure we're all in agreement about what we're looking for?

Btw, I would consider this to be an outright bug (ads overflowing their designated bounds), more than a reason to support an ad-free option, but if this sort of bug is common enough, it might unintentionally have the latter effect anyway.

TxJeans: I'm assuming that if a non-free version were to become available, the free version would also continue to be supported. My support for the OP's request is conditional on that.
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TxJeans
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2013 10:21:34 AM

I am here to save money. I don't see the ads as a major problem and would not pay for an ad free version.

I think that is the main reason that the PTB have not pursued the ad free version...folks come here to SAVE money. Sort of like Clarkhoward "save more, spend less". I was going to also say "Dave Ramsey" but heard rumors that he charges to join his forums? So, if he can charge to help people not spend, maybe there would be enough demand for a PAY app?

I don't know - except that unless the ads became more obtrusive on the free version to help fund the pay version until it gets going or if it isn't sustainable - I wouldn't pay for an ad free version.

If the ads became too obtrusive on the free version, I would leave rather than buy the app and would only look to find prices when traveling as a non-participating member.

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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 7, 2013 8:04:16 AM

Yeah kwzh, I see that ad daily on the Android app. It shows up at the top of the price board and between the reg and mid prices when you tap on a station. It is small an unobtrusive.

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kwzh
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Message Posted: Sep 6, 2013 10:06:29 PM

I agree with maxstar's implication that "invasion of privacy" is not the right term. I also agree with scoutmaster's assertion that ads (currently) pay for the site, but I support the OP's idea of having an ad-free variant for pay.

Now, on to the actual complaint. 17AZ-F250 writes,
> ad pops up in the middle of what your reading and can't get rid of it

@ 17AZ-F250: what hardware are you using, and what version of the app?

@ Everyone else: Have you ever seen that ad? If so, do you know of a way to dismiss it?
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maxstar
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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2013 11:36:41 PM

How do the ads invade your privacy 17AZ-F250?
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2013 10:25:16 PM

Ads pay for the site so you don't have to.

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 9/5/2013 10:25:39 PM EST]
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17AZ-F250
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Message Posted: Sep 5, 2013 6:29:52 PM

Try to read a news article and Bank of America ad pops up in the middle of what your reading and can't get rid of it.
Get rid of pop up ads.I do not and will patronize a company who invades my privacy with unwanted ads.
RJP
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rumbleseat
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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2013 8:25:53 PM

Tap? Click? Hit? Mash? Bop? Poke?
Who cares what a person calls it? This isn't a legal brief.

Anyway, I live with the ads, it pays for the site.
I live with the ads on games I play on Facebook as well, rather than pay for so-called "premium" status without ads.
I do click on the odd ad that piques my curiousity.
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 3, 2013 1:33:38 AM

Thanks GasBuddy, and agreed. Keep it a consideration that some day might be explored.
I'll buy the first off the line. :)
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 2, 2013 8:04:30 AM

I doubt if there will ever be an ad free app to buy. The cost would they could charge for the app would not be close to the revenue that could be generated from the ads on the free app. An the ads on the app are minimal and really not in the way of anything. Heck, I barely notice them and have never had a problem accidently tapping them.
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Gas_Buddy
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Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 4:16:20 PM

People:

Bickering is a Just For Fun or an off-line issue. We already have a suggestion in the original post; that's what the discussion should be about unless you're interested in tempting the moderators to close the topic and/or take other action.



[Edited by: Gas_Buddy at 9/1/2013 4:16:48 PM EST]
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 10:29:59 AM

Nevermind, scout. Really, never you mind.
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 6:41:40 AM

Well you click a mouse and my smart phone doesn't use a mouse and the correct terminology is tap when you are using your smart phone.

What is the resulting effect that is obvious? You want to update a price on your Android phone so you tap the station you want to update. The "Report Gas Prices Here" appears below the station photo and above the Reg price. The ad is between the Reg and Mid price. So the ad really isn't "in the way" since you can tap "Report Gas Prices Here" to report the gas prices.

If that's all I've got about what?

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 9/1/2013 6:42:23 AM EST]
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Sep 1, 2013 2:51:18 AM

Funny. Even though you might not say it, I can still hear it. Tapped? Really? I might have missed the precise target of your disagreeable reflex, but counting on it I was 100% spot on.

No matter. The ad appearing between the grades is precisely the one I'm referring to. The resulting effect is obvious, and you had no material or germane comment on that. If that's all you've got, at least be honest enough to admit it.
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 5:07:01 PM

I have never, nor would I ever use the word bub.

Oh and there is nothing to click on a mobile app on your phone. The correct terminology is tap.

And on the Android, the ads appear at the top of the top of the price list and between the regular and mid-grade price. Considering this is a mobile app and there is limited real estate, there is not a lot of places to put them.
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 3:23:48 PM

Yes, scoutmaster. I can ignore them too. It doesn't require giftedness to pull that off. If you'd notice the epicenter of my complaint, it's the fact the clickable price updates are sharing space with clickable ads resulting (obviously, with annoying intent) on accidental clicking on them sending one reeling into another corner of the universe and needing to backpedal back.

Of course, your next reply will be "well, pay closer attention to what you click on, bub", so I'll reply to that one in advance too with "yeah, thanks for the thoughtful feedback."

Saved you time. You're welcome.

:)
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Aug 31, 2013 8:31:07 AM

Semantics TheJediCharles. I see it as "bugging you". You don't. Not a big deal.

The ads on the mobile app are minimal at best. So ignore them. I barely notice them. They don't command my attention.
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TheJediCharles
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Message Posted: Aug 30, 2013 11:58:22 PM

Thanks for the replies.

Scoutmaster,
the expression "bugs me" is grossly overstated. I'm not so bothered by it. I simply value my very attention, I appreciate quality and freedom from clutter. You're free to describe what you "think" my complaint is "bugging" me, but you'd only be incorrect, and if being correct is what's important to you, then that's clarification.

Also, as self-contradictory as it may sound, I'm idealogically opposed to ad-blockers. I support commercialism and commercial advertising as a form of "alternate currency". If advertisers recognize their ads aren't penetrating to the target, they will pull the support. They, like you, have little interest in paying for what they aren't getting. So, defeating the purpose only robs the market of using it as an option and will, you guessed it, make everything more expensive in the end because using "eyeball time currency" will end.

Don,
Thanks for the straight dope, and it's what I expected. I thought if I might have been the last in a series of users giving the same feedback, it would be different.

Ironically, I work in commercial advertising myself. My suggestion, at the core, wasn't rooted "totally" in wishing for an ad-free option. It really emerged from being put off by the ads among the clickable prices to update. Among my many other opinions concerning advertising (some taught in school, others learned in the field, others having to deal with ads like the rest of us) is there's "friendly, courteous advertising" and there's "obstructive, sneaky, underhanded, obnoxious advertising". As you see above, I defend the former it's right to exist, and it's clear benefits. However, the latter... well, motivates those inflicted by it to start suggestion threads like this one. :)

Byte Doctor,
I like how you gently say "those who do not like to spend more than they have to." All you had to do is say "us tightwads." Saves time, more direct.



[Edited by: TheJediCharles at 8/31/2013 12:02:02 AM EST]
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 10:24:00 PM

scoutmaster wrote: "Try it and find out! I just downloaded it but I haven't configured it yet."

I use an iPhone, there is no AdBlock Plus app for iPhone (yet).
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maxstar
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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 8:02:08 PM

I think that the current business model works well and would not change it. The nature of the site attracts those who do not like to spend more than they have to. I seriously doubt if there is a large enough audience that would bother to pay a subscription fee. After a short time I would not be surprised if many of those that thought it was worth a couple of bucks would decide it is not. As a site administrator, I would not want to have to keep track of that revenue, the effective and expiration dates of the subscription.

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Don
Moderator
Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 4:51:10 PM

Hi TheJediCharles,

Thanks for your suggestion.

Advertising is what generates a large portion of our income, without the advertisers there would be no sites/developers/admins/site caretakers.

GasBuddy has never been a pay-to-use service and it was never intended to be, I'm not entirely sure that is the direction GB wants to move toward.

The idea has been suggested several times over the years but it's never really taken off with the site co-founders.

-Don

[Edited by: Don at 8/29/2013 4:52:05 PM EST]
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scoutmaster
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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 7:52:59 AM

"Does AdBlock Plus block ads inside of apps? I don't see how that would work..."

Try it and find out! I just downloaded it but I haven't configured it yet.
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Byte_Doctor
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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 7:39:12 AM

"Plus, you can get AdBlock Plus for your Android"

Does AdBlock Plus block ads inside of apps? I don't see how that would work...
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scoutmaster
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Aug 29, 2013 7:05:49 AM

That one little banner ad bugs you? I for one would not pay for an ad-free version of the Gas Buddy app. The ads are so minimal I had to go to the app to make sure they were there.

Plus, you can get AdBlock Plus for your Android! And it's free!

[Edited by: scoutmaster at 8/29/2013 7:06:47 AM EST]
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