Story

The Evolution of Marco Polo

Today, we’re asking our community to join us on our journey to a sustainable future. 

We’re making big changes to the app including launching a paid membership plan – Marco Polo Plus. This will allow us to keep Marco Polo running, so that we can continue to help nurture your closest relationships for decades to come. We’re also making hard decisions to move some of the extra features in the free app, like 2x, into the new Plus membership (see details here)

We’re a small team of 38 engineers and developers and designers and customer service folks. We’re also superfans of Marco Polo. We want Marco Polo to be ad-free and around forever. So, considering everything, now is the time when we need to make our business a sustainable one.

The magic of Marco Polo is something we want the whole world to experience.

Many years ago, we set out to build a video-first experience to help people stay close. A simple idea. Built with heart and hope for a happier world. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine that it would be adopted so quickly and passionately, becoming such an essential part of millions of people’s daily lives.

We never could’ve imagined what 2020 would bring, but here we are.

The magic of Marco Polo is something we want the whole world to experience. Forever. And because we refuse to sell privacy and personal data to the highest bidder, our unique, reliable, and free app needs to evolve. That means focusing our business on a membership plan, a business model that provides a lot of additional value for our most avid users.

Here’s how we’re going to do it…

With the launch of Marco Polo Plus, we now offer two awesome ways to use Marco Polo. 

We created our premium Marco Polo Plus for the people who rely on Marco Polo every single day. We’re rolling it out with iOS users now; Android availability will be coming soon. We’ve built a premium product with many new features to help make your daily life with Marco Polo even more convenient and joyful.

Also, our free app is going to look and feel different. A few of the extra perks that many have come to love, like 2x and Photo Polos, will be behind the Plus paywall. For some, this change could be disruptive to daily activity. We apologize for any distress that removing these extra features might cause. But not having Marco Polo be a sustainable business would be even more distressing for the millions who have come to rely on Marco Polo as a lifeline to friends and family. 

Our free app is going to look and feel different.

The free version of Marco Polo remains an incredible way to keep in touch across time and distance. The magic of face-to-face video communication, on your schedule, is available in unlimited form and for free.

These decisions have not been made lightly. In fact, we’ve been working on Plus for over a year –  testing, iterating, debating our free offerings, and determining the tradeoff between how to serve our most frequent users, be a sustainable business, and provide a great free offering. Some will be understandably upset that we’ve moved previously free extra features into our paid plan. We hope our community understands that we wouldn’t be making these tough decisions if we didn’t think they were critical to ensuring Marco Polo is around for years to come.

We think it’s worth investing in a company that is genuinely working to fight the epidemic of loneliness.

Listen, we can’t do this without our community. We are attempting to do something that no social network has ever pulled off successfully: building a sustainable business without selling personal data or showing ads. With the support of the incredible Marco Polo community and by continuing to evolve our Marco Polo Plus offerings, we know we can. 

We are heartbroken as we live through one of the most mentally and emotionally challenging times we have ever experienced. That’s why we think it’s worth investing in a company that is genuinely working to fight the epidemic of loneliness.

We feel incredibly proud and grateful that we’ve had your trust over the years. And we’re excited to continue to invest in what you’ve entrusted us to do – help you feel close to those who matter most to you in a way that’s convenient and joyful. We hope together we can continue to build a place where nobody says “it’s so hard to stay in touch,” and nobody ever feels alone.

917 thoughts on “The Evolution of Marco Polo

    1. Hi Sarah – We’re so glad that’s one of the things you love about Marco Polo. <3 We are committed to keeping it that way!

      1. Hi Jessica – Marco Polo Plus membership plan is $9.99/month for the monthly plan or $5/month for the annual plan billed at $59.99. All prices listed in U.S. dollar. Here’s a link to more info: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

      2. My previous comment will not be approved because you guys don’t want to show how upset people are. This one won’t either be approved either, just wanted you to know again. Leave the 2x speed for the free version.

      3. I will not be paying 60 bucks US or even 60 Canadian for this app. I will just go back to using other apps. Good luck.

      4. I love talking to my girlfriend on Marco Polo but right now she is not answering me so if you have anything plz tell me

      5. Please consider leaving the fast advance feature! The other day my daughter , I thought, said she had the virus but going over an over her Marco I finally found out she said she dreamed she did. All was better with the 2x ! I realize you need a cash flow to grow but during this time in history it will be a difficult expense …wait or offer other features to temp us.

      6. Hi Ron – Thanks for your feedback, and we’re really glad your daughter is ok.

      7. We have a 13 member family group with users from 13 – 75 years old. We will not be able to use this program if we all have to pay $60 a year. Is there a family plan that one member can pay and invite others into so that everyone in the group benefits from the “premium” experience?

      8. Hi Maria – Thanks for the question. Right now we don’t have a family plan, but we’re hearing this request from folks and making sure to pass it on to our product team.

      9. I appreciate the spirit behind the idea of no ads, but I honestly think that most users would rather watch a 2 minute ad over paying $60 per year. This price seems exorbitant. I would pay a one time fee of $9.99 but that’s probably the ceiling. You should survey current users.

      10. Lol! Nooooooope! $60 a year?! I pay 5 bucks a month for a subscription to British movies/TV and I guarantee I get a lot more for my money than I would from Your app. You guys have no imagination… there are so many other options out there besides robbing enthusiastic users of regular features they’ve had since the beginning! Take the damn boring emojis why don’t you? I mean you’ve never added some essentials to them anyway. I’ll never pay your ransom!

      11. Looks like another unhappy person . Seems you could leave the app to non payers the way it was and add things for the people who want to pay. My group is very irritated with this new policy. It’s like taking a toy from a baby. Seriously? I dont really understand your reasoning. I’m hoping with all these negative comments you will rethink your decision. My group of 8 will be looking elsewhere. This was my only way of communicating with friends due to bad phone service in the location I’m at. I’m very sad and kind of pissed off.

      12. Hi Sandy – We understand, and we’re sorry you’re thinking about switching away from Marco Polo. But just to clarify, Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with unlimited chats, groups, voice effects, filters, emojis, and the ability to save Polos. The Plus membership plan is optional, and the ability to communicate with your friends is not changing.

      13. Hi not sure how to post an original reply here, so I apologize for highjacking this one.
        I looove your app! Thank you so much for all the hard work you have put into it. I would happily pay $60 a year to not have people’s agendas come at me from all angles! I don’t know why all these free loaders are complaining. You wouldn’t expect them to work for free or below the poverty line! They can keep the free version after all without all the extras. However, I do think you should do a family plan of some kind/senior discounts etc. because that can rack up pretty quickly with parents and teenagers.

      14. Hi Janet – Thank you so much for your support on all levels! And we are hearing our user community’s feedback on having a family/group plan and are sharing that with our product team.

      15. Would 1000000% much prefer ads than to pay $60 a year. Very disappointed by this decision. Not going to pay and likely will stop using now that several features are gone. You should allow people to pay to remove ads vs. no choice at all. Bad move.

      16. Hi Michelle – Thanks. We’re sorry to hear you’re thinking of switching away from Marco Polo, and we appreciate your perspective. For Marco Polo, showing third-party ads is not part of a sustainable business model, nor will we sell our users’ privacy or personal data.

      17. What a bunch of whining people you are that want everything for free. Threats to stop using something that is already free if you don’t get to keep your 2x. Geez. Without any extras this would still be a great app. Sounds to me like most of you don’t truly listen to the other party if you can’t live without 2x for free.

      18. Hi Janie – Thanks for you perspective and feedback. We hope you enjoy the app, whichever version you use 🙂

      19. We are 8 ladies all retired and find this app very useful. But 60 dollars a year is way too much on a fixed income. I personally do photography and pay for lifetime membership for that price on photo apps that do so much more. How do you go about downloading the older free version of the app? Sincerely, The Rio Rowdies.

      20. Hi Karen and the Rio Rowdies – You can switch back to your old free version until August 1, 2020. Just go to Settings > Help & About Us > Switch Back. After August 1, everyone will be either on our new free version or members of Marco Polo Plus. Plus will be a completely optional upgrade.

      21. I enjoy using your app, and it’s understandable that all the people who create and maintain it need to be paid for their work. Best of luck & success. Some of these people who are angry and verbally abusive (at an app!) need to grow up.

      22. Hi Mike – Thanks so much 🙂 We completely understand the emotion around these big changes.

      23. Lindsay of MP: have you realized you (or MP/Marco Polo) actually “deprive” millions of Deaf Americans (9% or 43M Deaf people in the US / 825M or 11% worldwide) cuz we can’t speak nor hear, we use visual language = sign language which means VIDEO we are heavily reply on. Plus “most” of us are suffering such oppressions (less desired employments due to hearing people’s uneducated & ignorance on deafness & deaf culture, etc – hearing & Deaf we all are the same except we can’t speak nor can’t hear!) and many more deprivations (worse than Black/African-Americans, FYI). We are the most overlooked people‼️ Imagine Deaf+Black person = I hope they won’t suffer even more‼️ My point is that $60/yr is pretty extreme. Why not $29.99 ($30/yr)? This is the first time so best if we start off with lower rate. Also, we are in this serious pandemic AND economic situations‼️ Also, I am shocked there is NO Deaf employee working at Marco Polo! I hold MPA & MBA from BYU, BBA from Gallaudet University and have 20+ yrs experiences. I am sure MP wouldn’t bother to hire me & work from home. I support the fees but not open with HIGHER rate. This is called “a turn-off rate” in an Open Market. Again, please re-consider with proper rate and certain fair + incentive discount programs something like that? Can you? Customers like us are your (and any companies) #1 priority. MP: Please be customer-centered company. 😊 “Working Together Meaning Winning Together” is my original quote back in 1995. Please think about it and that quote, too. Thank you & God bless you & MP. 😊🙏🏻🌎🤟🏻🇺🇸✅

      24. Hi Christopher – Thanks for your feedback. Just to clarify, Marco Polo is still a free app, and Marco Polo Plus is an optional paid membership plan. The free version still includes video chats that are unlimited and available to all.

      25. Ever since the new features came out my app has not worked properly. I did not upgrade to the “paid version” and every time I watch a video it plays for 5-6 seconds and then stops. I have to close out the app and restart it. But then it only plays for a few seconds again. It’s so frustrating! I’ve talked to a few people who have had the same problem. Any idea on how to fix this issue?

      26. Hi Jami – We’re so sorry you’re having technical difficulties. We’ll share this issue with our product team, but in the meantime, our support team would also like to help you out directly. Please email contact@marcopolo.me and describe the issue in detail, and they’d be happy to help troubleshoot. Thank you!

      27. My husband and I have 8 young children (we all use this app and love it!) so that would be over $50 a month to have plus😳
        I sure wish y’all did a family plan of like 10 users for the $5 a month. I’d totally pay that, and I’m sure so many others would as well.
        Thanks for the great years! 😁

      28. Hi Stephanie – We appreciate this input, and we are hearing from a number of users who are interested in a family plan. We’re making sure to pass this feedback along to our product team. Thank you!

      29. Hi Maureen – Thanks for the great question. Sending and receiving is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app. Users of the free version may notice that Plus subscribers have certain features like custom emojis or have the ability to send a voice-only Polo. But the ability to chat with any of your contacts on Marco Polo does not change.

      30. You people are seriously insane. A one time charge of $9.99 for the app should cover all your costs. I have a family of 6. At $60 each, that’s $360 A YEAR for us just to chat with each other. Have you thought this through??? Congrats on developing a popular app, but seriously — your greed is disgusting.

      31. Hi Melanie – Thanks for your honest feedback. We want to clarify that Marco Polo is and remains a free app and that Plus is a completely optional upgrade. Additionally, for Plus users who are interested in a family/group plan, Plus Family is rolling out on both iOS and Android and will be widely available in the coming weeks. Those interested in getting more information can email marcopoloplus@marcopolo.me for more details.

      32. I think if you simplified your message you would be in great shape. TLDR. I read the LONG email and then clicked through and read even more and still was like, what is happening? Just the facts. Upgrades are coming, it’s still free. But if you want features like emojis and 2x, it’s behind the paywall. Done. $9.99 is too high for a monthly. You can get the entire catalog of spotify for free with ads or $9 no ads and free hulu. So this is literally Facetime or Insta vid saying that you’re not selling our info. But I sorta remember Zuck saying that once upon a time too. But do what you gotta do. It’s a cool app for sure.

      33. Hi Lola – Thanks for the feedback on messaging and pricing – we appreciate the input.

      34. I think it would fairer to keep the 2x -which is more of a ‘nuts and bolts’ feature – on the free version and move all the filters and emojis and reactions – which are extras – over to the paid app. I think that just being able to record and watch messages and speed through them if necessary is enough for a free app.
        Like others, I think that the price is a bit too expensive and can’t budget to pay that much for a phone app.

      35. Hi Soraya – Thank you so much for this feedback on features and pricing – we appreciate your input.

      36. I will be happy to support you with $60 a year. I don’t see how you can give us all this for free?!! Thank you. Love being in daily touch with my new granddaughter!

      37. Hi Su – We’re so glad the app is helping to keep you in touch with your granddaughter! We appreciate the feedback and your support.

      38. I can’t help but think Marco Polo is hoping to capitalize on the spread of covid-19, since so many people desperately need connection right now! What a horrible way to “grow your business,” on the backs of those already suffering!
        This business decision could easily wait untill the pandemic subsides… and so many out of work & sick are suffering!!
        Thank you!!

      39. Hi Brenda – Thanks for your feedback, and we agree that connection is critical to our ongoing mental and physical well-being, particularly right now. That’s why the core of what users have come to love about Marco Polo remains unlimited and free – unlimited chats and groups, unlimited saving of Polos, emojis, voice effects, filters, and more – with no paid ads and no selling of your privacy or data.

      40. Yes! I’m willing to pay. This medium is such a blessing to my siblings & me. Where spread over several states. MP has kept us together in a special way.

      41. Hi Alesia – We’re glad the app has helped you and your siblings stay in touch. Thank you so much for this feedback and support.

      42. I never comment on these things, but I feel I need to. I am really sad that I couldn’t get you to reconsider leaving the video reactions on the free app version. I sent an email that I feel made valid points regarding the importance of the video reactions. Many of us are communicating with friends/family from far away and we get on to do a MP that lasts about a half hour or so (as we go through our busy days). Our other friends/family members then can leave video reactions to the questions or statements that we are saying and we can listen to their answers later. There are so many other ‘extra’ features that we don’t use (the 2X, the filters, the voice effects, bookmark, reminders, forwards) that sound more like ‘plus’ features. The video reactions are the main reason it’s a good app for us to use and we can’t validate $60 a year for it. I’m just sad that there wasn’t maybe a forum months ago that asked those that use the app what features they care about most. Maybe offer an option to pick the features you actually use and you can pay just for those (as in pay for video reactions, but not pay for any of the above features). Just a thought. The users should have been considered more in this decision making process, not just the thought of money.

      43. Hi Brittney – These changes are understandably hard for some folks. As you might have seen in earlier replies, our team tested, iterated, and debated our free and Plus offerings for more than a year, working hard to establish a balance between how to serve our most avid users while continuing to provide a great free version; remain ad-free; and not sell your privacy or personal data. We appreciate your heartfelt feedback.

      44. Is there anything in the works to make it so that we can download our videos in bulk or upload them to a cloud service…

      45. Hi Angela – Thanks for the question/feature request! We’ve passed your suggestion along to our product development team.

      46. Hi Lindsay,

        I’m writing this as of August 17th and just need some clarification, I read everything above and read many of the comments and I’m a little confused (my apologies)! So will we all still be able to use this app for free minus the Pro perks going forward if we chose not to upgrade OR is it not going to be available for free at all? I see a header in my polo stating “this version ends in September”! Does these mean I’ll have no access to Polo at all after September and have to upgrade or am I free to use this app without upgrading! Thanks

      47. Hi Mike – Thanks for this excellent question. Marco Polo remains a free app, with an optional premium upgrade. Our rollout process is ongoing, but by September 1, all Marco Polo users currently on the old version of Marco Polo will be updated to the new free version, and then will be able to choose whether to keep using the new free version or upgrade to our premium membership plan, Marco Polo Plus. Here’s more information about what’s included in the new free version: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

      48. This is ridiculous! We have loved using Marco Polo! I don’t care for the voice filters or emojis! We use the forward feature so we can share videos of our 6 month old to different groups, the photo polos all the time, and 2x when you are needing to go back and hear something specific that you missed. Without all of that, I have no use for Marco Polo anymore. Good luck with your “sustainable business plan” that won’t work. You’re going to lose most of your users and it’s what you deserve!

      49. I have been such a fan of this app and it has truly helped me through Corona Virus for sure. I also hear these other comments and they ring so true to mine. I appreciate the no ads and not selling our information and that is what makes you stand apart from the rest. I am willing to pay for that…. however you have WAY overpriced your value and therefore you will have many people that will leave that would otherwise pay for your service if it was reasonably priced. For example, my wife and I share an iTunes account. Any app I pay for my wife gets to use for free because I have purchased it for the household. But not with your app….which makes you appear to be very greedy. So in order for us to have the much needed 2x speed feature that we need to be able to use the app for what we use it for, we have to pay $120 a year, which is highway robbery by any standards. But that is the family price so I could have my children on that as well…..except that they have android phones…. so for my simple, hardworking family to use this much desired, but basic service of 2x speed, we would have to pay $240 a year. I realize that I could use the app for free, but without the 2x feature it is a very frustrating experience. I have used the Plus service and the only feature that I would be paying for that is worth anything to me personally is 2x and maybe the note taking feature but that is it. Do you see why every single one of my friends has sent me requests for other apps to try to see if it would work for our communication needs. $240 a year for one simple feature that you used to give us for free makes you appear to greedy and that all of the wonderful things that you said in the article above is just a bunch of smoke. I hope you will consider much needed changes to your approach before it is too late. I guarantee you someone is seeing this clumsy rollout and how much you have offended your once loyal following and Is developing an app that will be your competition at a fraction of the cost. That day, which will come, will make my heart sad because I have been one of your loudest brand ambassadors. I have always believed in your mission and if you had priced this right I still would be. I am not asking for free, I am asking for responsible pricing. I can’t think of anything App that i would pay $240 a year for.

      50. Please keep the saved Polos free. Those are some of the only memories I have left….and if at some point you cant, please make it somehow affordable and possible to save them in bulk. Also, please give a few months advance notice for budgeting for it. Thank you.

      51. Hi Misty – Thanks for your comment. Rest assured that the ability to save Polos to your device is still a feature in the new free version. It sounds like you already know how, but just in case, here’s a link to instructions: https://support.marcopolo.me/article/24-save-polo. We’ve also shared the suggestion for bulk saving with our product development team.

      52. I LOVE YOUR APP AND WILL HAPPILY PAY! Thanks for making it free for so long but it’s understandable to need to charge plus you still offer it for free as well! I’m sorry so many people are upset. Seems selfish.

      53. Hi Jami – We completely understand the strong feelings around this change 🙂 and we are so grateful for your support. Thank you!

    2. I say this as a sincerely thankful fan of this app. I am saddened by the choice of removing features and placing them behind a paywall. Those features helped build your business. I feel it would be a much stronger decision to instead place new higher quality features behind a pay wall. Improved HD video, HD AUDIO! (Many of ya are musicians) , improved sharing of videos , a personal home/ landing page. A community with topics etc like reddit but via video etc… there are so many ways Marco Polo could evolve without ads and still be very profitable. I’m sure you all thought long and hard about this but the decisions feel very short sighted. Maybe you have much bigger plans that we aren’t privy to…. removing features is just a bad idea imho. I really wanna see Marco Polo grow. We promote it weekly on our live stream videos etc.

      1. Hi Ken – First off, thank you for being a fan of Marco Polo, and thank you for your thoughtful feedback. We did think long and hard about the tradeoffs, and we understand that the decision to move previously free features into our paid plan is going to be upsetting to some. We hope our community understands that we wouldn’t be making these tough decisions if we didn’t think they were critical to ensuring Marco Polo is around for years to come.

      2. I agree! At least please leave the double speed button. It makes no sense to alienate current free users. I don’t want my remote community to disappear. It makes kore sense to simply have even more upgrades in the new paid app while still maintaining the standard of quality you’ve promised to us for so long.

      3. Hi Angela – The decision to move some features into Plus comes from our commitment to business sustainability. We know that users have come to love some of the features, like 2x, that are now part of the Plus membership. And these were hard choices. But we’re committed to giving our community a choice, and continuing to still provide a great free offering.

      4. I agree. Why not ask your users what their dealbreaker features are for the free version? Let us decide. We’re who you’re serving paid or unpaid. It only makes sense to take a survey.

        I say keep basic emojis and double speed. No need for special voices or filters or even the seconds feature. Just basic video, text polos, emojis and double speed. Those 4 basic things are all you need for the free version.

        It doesn’t make sense to ignore what your community – the people who got you where you are today – would want in their app. It doesn’t promote a positive atmosphere to simply say you understand some will be upset. Ask! See what will please your consumers paying or not.

        This app was built for inclusivity and community. Why exclude us from the conversation?

      5. I agree with Ken. Taking away features that we’ve all become comfortable with and are used to using with Marco Polo and putting them behind a pay wall seems like an attempt to muscle your current users into a paying membership situation for the same thing they have been enjoying at this point. Adding new exciting and fun features as a part of a paid membership is a much better idea in my opinion.

      6. Hi Marilyn – We understand, and we’ve made some tough decisions to make our business a sustainable one. We’re very excited about the features offered in the new Plus membership (here’s a link to details: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/) and we’ll also continue to invest in making sure the free experience is a great one.

      7. Agreed. I will definitely be looking for another app to use instead of Marco. Paying $5.99 a month for these features that we have already been utilizing for over a year, seems unnecessary and greedy🤷🏻‍♀️
        I’m very disappointed in the Marco Polo team.

      8. I agree with OP.

        This has been a fun way to stay connected with family and get to know soon-to-be family.

        I barely have time to watch and share because I have brand new twins. Without the 2x feature I just wont anymore.

        There is absolutely NO WAY I will pay that much money. We don’t have that much discretionary income. I am a teacher and my husband is disabled and works part time. Paying $120 a year will never happen. I can’t justify a one time $4.99 for the Wonders Baby app (which was free 5 years ago).

        It will be back to text messaging and sporadic FaceTime for us.

      9. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Hiding the current features that have built the business feels bad for your loyal customers and those of us who have “sold” your app to others. We are so very disappointed. Sad.

      10. Wow, love the idea of improved features, but placing those features behind a pay wall isn’t an improvement- seems like a ‘bait and switch’ to me. I would have gladly paid for the app with new features, but not taking current free features and making them for a fee. My family is enjoying it during this time of COVID…but we’ll probably discontinue once features are removed. Sorry

      11. I don’t recall seeing adds. I haven’t paid anything, yet. And I can’t remember to what degree you sell our information. So, like the rest of us, I assume that you need money to live on and to operate Marco. A monthly fee seems completely reasonable.

        That said, have you considered a required, yet minimal fee, like a one to two dollars a month, but from everyone? Many of us, I suspect, are willing to pay something but perhaps free will be too enticing to pay $5 or $10 dollars a month. I am probably one of those people that would (gratefully) stick with the free version. But as a miserly fellow, I would be willing to go to a buck or two.
        Good luck with everything!

      12. Hi Ron – Thanks for your feedback on pricing plans. We’re committed to providing a free option for millions, and a subscription plan for our most avid users. And either way, you are correct, we don’t show ads, and we will never sell your personal data.

      13. 💯 agree with you Ken! In a time when so many are losing their jobs and short on funds and need to communicate and reach out to loved ones …… this just seems so insensitive.

      14. Hi Jen – We completely agree. People need to connect more than ever, and that’s why Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with a completely optional premium membership plan.

      15. Thank you, I feel the same. During the pandemic this has been a great app to drop a note with video across the country to our kids. It does not replace Facetime and never will but is nice. I will not pay $60/yr for any app. Maybe a one time $9.99?

      16. Hi Harvey – Thanks for the pricing feedback, and we’re glad the app has been great for you and your family. It’s important to us to provide options, which is why the app is and remains free, and the upgrade is optional.

      17. YES! I agree with ken, I won’t pay $10 a month when I already struggle with Marco Polo downloading my videos. I will delete the app if it become worst than it is right now, as it stands it’s tolerable.

      18. Hey, I know that you guys are trying to keep Marco Polo ad free and stuff for years but 60 dollars a year all for a 2x is a little much. the photo looks and other stuff I don’t care about. I’m fine if that goes to a paywall. However, 2x is an almost essential feature that severely degraded the app. I asked many family members to use Marco Polo so that we could keep in touch. The 2x allows me to do that. To take that away and put it behind a 60 dollar paywall is hilarious. I hate to leave bad feedback, but this is out of hand.

      19. Dear Lindsay at Marco Polo:
        Having read a number of reviews that you posted to your site, and having read your response to them, it seems to me that your complaints are falling on completely deaf ears. To trumpet the free version of the app in response to someone who is frustrated because many of the things that they love are being taken away seems like you are NOT HEARING US.
        This to me is a classic bait-and-switch. Get them hooked and then make them pay. This scenario may make you a lot of money or it may cause your company to lose all of your loyal users. You should truly reconsider this choice, before your user base shrinks considerably.

      20. I agree! They try to paint it like they’re providing a sustainable service but all the see is dollar signs and exploiting people. $10 a month is an insane amount for ANY app. I guarantee you that they would have plenty of money if they offered packages to corporations – they wouldn’t need to pull this. I know for a fact I can’t afford this cost and neither can my friends and family. So we will he switching to the Voxer app and zoom calls because they’ve got things figured out. It’s disappointing to see this kind of greed from a small company. I’m sure there will be another app who does what MP does without exploiting their users.

      21. this makes all the sense in the world. very shortsighted is the word I used in my feedback. To take free things and make it paid for, makes no one happy. Like texting! We stopped paying for texting in the 90s.
        To have the exorbitant pricing and no family plan. wow….
        And I have to point out the US, in particular has record unemployment and MP feels like with all the financial uncertainty that people are feeling now is the time someone will welcome a new bill into their lives ?
        I friend who normally texts me wrote to me on Facebook saying.she won’t be on MP any more because of it. That is one less reason for me to be on. I have a lot of primarily texting friends so…..
        One of my big uses is sharing stills. No any more. and not at 60 bucks a year.
        We are a family of three and we won’t pay, and seems like we will have to leave the app.
        My wife is next to me bemoaning the loss of MP saying.how “foolish” it is that MP apparently didn’t talk to users about what they thought was fair and how stupid it is there is no family plan.
        MP won’t recoup users once they flee. You can change your payment and the features but I bet when the user leaves they are gone for good

      22. Hi Tim – Thanks for all this feedback. With regard to a family plan, we are hearing this input from our users and passing it on to our product team.

      23. I agree with Ken. At this price point? This is such a terrible idea. Add value and charge for it, but don’t strong arm your loyal users into an upgrade that honestly is pretty expensive. I love this app, but I’m very bothered by this. As a fellow business owner, I recommend you get creative MP. Instead of punishing your users, find a way to make them excited to purchase new features.

      24. Hi Steph – Thanks for your feedback. As you might have seen in previous replies, we didn’t make any of these decisions lightly, and we worked hard to establish a balance between providing a lot of additional value for our most avid users while continuing to provide a great free offering that offers an unlimited way to stay in touch. That came with some tough choices, but ones that are important to being a sustainable business and serving our user community for decades to come.

      25. I agree 💯% with what yate saying. Y remove what made u. Just add to the new Marcó Polo n leave the old version the same. N $60 that’s a lot for those on a fixed income especially at a time like now with this pandemic going on. Lots of people have lost their jobs n r struggling but yet u think it’s ok to ask for money. And you say $60 a year but if someone decides they want the new Marco Polo but can’t afford $60 a year n decide to pay the $9.99 a month cause they can afford that well that’s double the $60 a year.
        I think I’ll stay with Marco Polo old version if it stays the way it is with the 2x n all the other features it comes with n if u can’t keep it like that then I will have to leave Marco Polo

      26. Hi Lynda – Thank you for your input on pricing. As you might have seen in earlier replies, our decisions come from wanting to create a sustainable, ad-free business that serves the needs of our most avid users while still providing a free app that allows you unlimited opportunity to stay in touch with the people who matter most to you. That came with some tough decisions, and we do understand your feedback.

      27. I don’t understand what happens to my experience if I pay the $60, and the rest in my regular group of 7 don’t? Or they pay and I don’t? I don’t mind the $60, but some in my group are currently unemployed.

      28. Hi Doug – Marco Polo chats are available to all and unlimited, whether you’re using the free version or you’re a paid member of Marco Polo Plus. Users of the free version may notice that Plus subscribers have certain features such as custom emojis or the ability to send a voice-only Polo. But the ability to chat with any of your contacts on Marco Polo does not change.

      29. I totally understand the changes! I hope Marco Polo is always around! It is a great way to talk to friends and family, even if some features are gone

      30. “We did think long and hard about the tradeoffs, and we understand that the decision to move previously free features into our paid plan is going to be upsetting to some. ” To all. Its upsetting to all. Everyone. This only benefits Marco Polo. The new features aren’t enough for what your charging, probably why you had to put the old features in there as well. Not listening to your customers will lead to less sustainability due to less business and a distrust of the company at hand.
        So a review:
        A. Taking away features is a terrible idea
        B. $60 a year is astronomical. New features lack any umph to be worth such a lofty price, again I’m sure thats why you had to cut in on the old features.

        What really gets me is that you read this in June and still were like “Ya. Lets keep going” WILD.

        –Customer moving to Line once I am forced out of original free

      31. Ken’s post is dead on. I love this app. I have over 20 people in my immediate family including spouses and there’s no way to keep up with everyone’s polos and get a word in without the 2x feature. I’m also a believer that you support the developers if you love the content. The price point however to upgrade is unrealistic for my family and unless the plan was 4.99 per user or something along those lines, it’s too expensive to consider. I really hope this app takes off in a big way but if I can’t use it to keep up with 20+ without paying an over priced subscription…we don’t really have much of a choice but to hold off until changes are made.

      32. Hi Stephen – Thank you for this feedback. We are hearing our user community’s feedback about families and groups. Please stay tuned for more information!

    3. First I want to compliment you’re marketing/communications team. You’re email was perfect. And I want to thank the management team for putting thoughts of humanity into your corporate goals. We need that more than ever today. I love your platform. It’s done a lot for me during these weird times. And I am willing to pay to not have the soul sucked out of your model.

      1. Hi Stephanie – We’re so appreciative of your feedback, and your support of Marco Polo. Thank you.

      2. I, on the other hand, am disappointed that MP is doing this now… during the COVID pandemic. At a time when many other businesses and platforms are making their services FREE so that people can more easily stay connected, MP is now placing a cost on what they’ve been offering for free since their inception.

        I’m not against MP charging people for their service… after all, it is a business. But in my opinion, they’re taking advantage of a situation where people are isolated, and therefore using the MP app more frequently.

        I really like MP… but when I’m paying for my account, my wife’s and 4 kids accounts… I’ll unfortunately have to look for an alternative.

        Thanks MP… it’s been a good run!

      3. Hi Matt – We understand, and we’re sorry to see you go. As you’ve seen in earlier replies, we decided that the sustainable route to supporting the costs of a free video service for millions of people is to offer a premium subscription, since we don’t believe selling ads or selling user data are good models.

      4. Like Matt, our group of 26 family users who have used this app to stay in close touch during this pandemic will also be looking for a different solution.

        Sorry, MP. You have a great product. But we can no longer afford to be part of your business. We would only wish for the current functionality in the current free app. It works well for us as is.

      5. Hi Angela – We understand, and we’re sorry to see you go. As you’ve seen in earlier comments, we made these tough decisions based on business sustainability, to help ensure that in addition to a paid membership plan, we can continue to provide an unlimited free version to millions.

      6. Your app has been our family’s #1 most useful app during quarantine. It’s made us feel much closer, and even my elderly parents were able to master it. Your email about the upgrade was thoughtful and well-written. It means a lot to me that you refuse to sell privacy and personal data. Though probably not all my family members will be able to pay for the app, I can and will. I’m also relieved not to be using a Facebook or Google product. Thank you for having meaningful values.

      7. Hi Florabelle – So happy to hear that Marco Polo has helped your family connect during this time, and thank you for your feedback and support. Know that sending and receiving Polos functions the same in the free version and Plus, so no matter which version you’re each using, you’ll be able to stay in touch.

      8. I absolutely love this app more than any other app I have ever had! I literally gave thanks for it at Thanksgiving last year 😉. No, I was not thrilled to suddenly find out that what I had become used to required a membership at that price, however I understand that the people who work at Marco Polo have to pay bills as well?! I do hope you offer family plans or an easy way to gift people because …. As you can telling many people Will have a hard time justifying yet another subscription cost. The reality is that some people need or appreciate this app way more than others. I have just scheduled a time to give you feedback tonight over zoom because it is that important to me I continue to have this app. I think you again for the gift of reconnecting me with my friends across the country in different time zones and with many different responsibilities and types of lives. People definitely need to experience this app for a little bit to realize how valuable it is and they also need to appreciate the connections they have on the app… For years I was not able to speak with most of my friends because we had such different schedules and responsibilities. This app has been a total game changer in my life and hope everyone at your team knows how appreciative I am! Keep up the good work and yes : please do survey your users as much as possible for what features they value the most and why.

      9. Hi Jennifer – Thank you so much for this feedback, your support, and for sharing your story with us!

      10. I was hoping to see a sensible positive comment amongst the negativity. I, too, was pleased with the sincerity of the message—and the intent to keep my information private—and the desire to keep this ad free. I say Bravo! It is worth $60 a year to stay in touch with my overseas family. And the paid subscription isn’t mandatory, a free version is still available.
        Wise, conscientious, and difficult business decision.

      11. Hi Carolyn – Thanks for your comments and perspective on all counts 🙂 We really do understand people’s strong opinions on these big changes. We really appreciate your support of the app and hope you enjoy using Plus!

    4. I would be more than happy to get ay for it But you never fixed the issue with the blue tooth microphone. I have asked twice for you to address this and you blew me off and now you want to charge me. This is a great app. I will pay for it. But. Please fixed the issue with the inability to use the blue tooth microphones.

      1. Hi Terry – Thanks for bearing with us on bluetooth. We’re aware of the issue, and will make sure this comment gets to our product team as well.

    5. I appreciate your thoughtful considerations but this isn’t going to work for normal families like mine. So a family like mine will have to pay 25 dollars a month for Marco Polo (there are five of us) after August 1st. That’s more than Netflix, more than Spotify, more than hbo, more than Amazon Prime, more than the New York times!

      I hope you’ll reconsider this. Marco Polo is the greatest step forward in communication since the advent of texting. This change will render it unusable for most people. It will become a tool of the wealthy.

      This is very sad for me. This app has been a lifeline for me in the last couple of years and especially in the last few months.

      I’m really genuinely very sad about this.

      I know you have to make money, of course, but this is exorbitant. A one time 5 dollar charge for the app would be so much more reasonable and you would make millions. With your plan Marco Polo will be my most expensive monthly subscription, by far.

      1. Hi Berrett – Thanks for your feedback on Marco Polo Plus pricing. We hear you, and we will continue to invest in making sure the free experience is a great one.

      2. @Berrett – why do you need the paid version for you and your family? The free version seems perfectly usable.

      3. I totally agree here! A $5 fee fir the year for current member/users! Then maybe charge $25 for new members just coming in?
        Basically by taking ALL the emojis & 2x button & photo polos into the pay wall, you will now just be no different that FaceTime or FB rooms or Skype! Why use MarcoPolo then? I’ve been here over 2 years & so has my entire worldwide prayer group! We may not continue with this “ pay to play” mentality of your business? Our Elder will make that difficult decision with our input, not me. This probably won’t get posted but I’ve said what needs to be said. Life is not about money & how much we can make! It is about love, caring, respect & fairness!
        This will be sad, but maybe you need to pray about this & reconsider what God is asking you to do in FAIRNESS to all?!

      4. Hi, MaryBlanche – We agree! That’s why Marco Polo Plus is a completely optional upgrade. Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with unlimited chats, unlimited groups, and an unlimited ability to stay in touch with the people who mean the most to you. The free version also includes heart, thumbs up, and smiley face emojis.

      5. Lindsay, You have a great app and everyone needs to earn revenue. I think most users understand that. But as the app creator, instead of having all these comments fall on deaf ears, you have the power to do something. As someone in business for many years, I can tell you, you need to truly listen to what your customers (the people who grew your app in the first place) are saying to you here. Actions from you speak louder than words. Sure you made these app decisions, but think outside the box and make some tiny tweaks to keep customers. Clearly 2x speed is a dealbreaker for most people. What about having two tiers? Your premium (current) tier and a plus (mid-level) tier that includes just 2x speed and rewind, fast forwarding, saving polos, etc for around $1.99 to $3. 99 per month? Another option would be to keep two tiers and swap the 2x speed (which you know is used constantly) for the filters in the two plans. These two options are completely viable and would actually garner you more business and less customer loss in the long run. As it stands now, the price jump is simply too steep for many. For others, like myself who can afford it, but only used 2x speed and saving polos, I just can’t justify paying $60+ a year for those features. I fear you’re going to end up with a mass exodus (or people sticking with free when they WOULD pay less) over one simple feature you’re ripping away from people when all you need to do is make a simple decision to make a change.

      6. Hi Stephanie – This is great and thorough feedback. As you might have seen in earlier replies, our product team tested, iterated, and debated our offerings for more than a year as they worked out the balance and tradeoffs involved in serving our most frequent users, being a sustainable business, and providing a great free offering without showing paid ads or selling our users’ privacy or personal data. Now that the rollout is under way, our users’ feedback isn’t falling on deaf ears by any stretch; we’re sharing all of it with the product team. So we really appreciate your taking the time to offer your ideas. Thanks.

      7. You do not have to pay ANYTHING for you and your family to continue using MP! The upgrade plus plan is not mandatory and the free version is still FREE lol You can say you are not happy about losing a key feature of the 2x on the free version but you act as if you HAVE to pay to keep using MP and it’s just not true! Relax, keeping using this awesome FREE app and just get over the loss of the 2x feature! OR.. pay to get that feature back if you really miss it so much lol but the app is still free and your family can continuing using it without any issues!

    6. The price increase is very steep. From $0? Did you consider something like $19.99 per year? I believe you would get more customers at that price point.

      1. Hi Laura – Thanks for your feedback on pricing. As you might have seen in earlier replies, our decisions came from our commitment to being an ad-free business that serves our most avid users while also continuing to provide a great, free option to millions of people for decades to come.

      2. I agree Laura.
        MP, the standard reply of ‘make this sustainable for years to come’ almost sounds as if there won’t be a price increase for years to come? Because $60 a year is a very steep price for a video app. I’ve got to wonder if we’re going to hear the same reply in a year or two. The free app is great, but taking away features is not the way to go once you’ve built a base. Kinda makes me think there wasn’t any forethought going in, which leads to more questions about future plans.
        I mean this idea and your team have done a great job and service during this pandemic, but going forward, not backward would be the prudent marketing move.

      3. I agree with Laura. I totally understand needing to charge but to go from $0 to $10/month is very steep. Is there seriously not a more reasonable price point?

      4. So do I understand it correctly if I pay 9.99 per month and 5 people I communicate with two of them decide not to upgrade our overall group service is degraded

      5. Hi Charley – Actually, sending and receiving Polos is the same whichever version of the app you use, and connectivity is not tied to your version of the app. Plus does come with extra features, such as Notes, Photo Polos, and custom emojis, and these will be seen by all members in a chat, regardless of Plus status.

      6. I agree completely. I would pay $20 a year/$2 a month gladly for a nice upgrade, but $60 a year/$10 a month? No way! There are a lot of more valuable things I will spend that on. It’s a nice video app, but not worth what your asking for us to keep current features. Y’all would have to come up with some amazing extra features to even come close to that price point! Someone over there at MP has been bit by the GREED bug!

      7. I would have done $20 per year, $60 no way. I am not paying what I pay for and online streaming service for video chat features.

    7. Good on you for standing for your business and creating a model without advertising. There’s always people who want everything for free and have some sense that they deserve it! Those that don’t understand… let them go with love!

      1. I feel like I’ve been lured into a trap…. now that I too have ‘sold my so many of my friends and family on this app, now I (and then) have to pay For the equivalent functionality because NOW there’s money to be made? It’s like Alaska’s governor, running for VP, but once she’s popular, she quits her job as governor to “cash in’ on the fame.
        Free is free. Changing the rules of what free means feels like cheating. Sure, your entitled to do whatever you want with your business platform. But how can we trust that next year it won’t be a $75 subscription instead of $60? Leave free the way it is…. you have PLENTY of room for growth with new members and added features that will be worth paying for.
        What about those of us who were foundation members…. what about those of us who started with uou in the early days, spread the word, helped you grow…. tell me how those of us can be ‘grandfathered’ into this new paid system. Or, what about a lifetime membership, instead of monthly or yearly. Another company whose app I watched grow by leaps and bounds, offered me a one time lifetime membership. Based on their -continued added value- to the app I invested in them. And I don’t regret one day. They have been their word. Before you finalize this change, I hope you’ll take the considerations offered by your most valuable, and oldest customers. I only hope we matter to you as much as you and your app does to each one of us.

      2. Hi Kelli – Thanks for your comments. Our users do matter to us, which is why, as you might have seen in earlier comments, we worked so hard to strike a balance between serving our most avid users and continuing to provide a free app for millions, while not selling ads, privacy, or personal data.

    8. Just what will “free” Marco Polo look like? Currently, we are using it to video grandchildren and they reply when they can. We don’t speed it up nor anything else.
      If I get that with free, how do I commit to free now?

      1. I am saddened. I have been a loyal customer since the beginning. I need the execs. to consider lowering the costs. There are 12 of us in my in my immediate family. We just cannot afford that.

        Then…. why now during a pandemic when we need to see our loved ones the most.

      2. Hi Janna – We understand the critical role in helping people stay in touch that we’re playing right now, and we take it seriously. That’s why we are committed to doing everything we can to make sure Marco Polo remains free for millions of more people for decades to come. Regarding the pricing for our optional Plus membership, we are hearing our community’s feedback on family/group pricing for Marco Polo Plus, and while we don’t have a family plan today, please stay tuned for developments on this front.

    9. Personally I would prefer the OPTION of having ads in order to keep the full service for free. I’m pretty unhappy at the thought of paying for features that have always been without cost. It will be hard to give up those features, but I’m not prepared to pay for the Plus version.

      Won’t you at least give your users a free-with-ads option?

      1. Hi Katherine – We understand, and thanks for the question. Our business model includes a commitment to remaining ad-free, not manipulating algorithms, and not selling our users’ privacy or personal data.

      2. You can have ads, and NOT manipulate algorithms and NOT sell user information. Lindsey is incredibly tone deaf if you read her replies. She truly isn’t listening to her user base.

      3. I completely agree with Katherine. Or at least have different tiers of the paid version. I can afford $60 year or even $10/month but I can’t justify the cost just for keeping 2x speed (the only Plus feature I care about.) If you offered more tiers, such as $2 or $3/month for just the 2x speed, I would be happy to upgrade for that. Please reconsider and listen to what your customers are saying.

      4. Hi Erika – Thanks for your feedback on tiered/customized pricing. We’ll share it with our product team.

      1. This question has been asked, and it hasn’t been answered. As a whole any serious questions get a polite response and a link to the new normal.
        The fact they took features.away from free and have a ludicrous price rolled out in the middle of huge financial uncertainty shows the company is clearly out of touch

    10. I have been using this app for years, and this feels like an effort to capitalize on the trying times we are in – the world is attempting to keep connections with loved ones and business partners. Putting 2x speed behind a paywall especially just seems like a slap in the face to loyal users.

      1. Hi Tara – We understand, and as you’ve seen in previous replies, these were tough choices as we balanced the need to serve our most avid users, provide a great free offering for millions right now and for decades to come, and remain an ad-free business that doesn’t sell your privacy or data to the highest bidder.

    11. This app doesn’t even work properly now and the performance is poor at that. Terrible filters and emojis… and you think people are going to pay for this underwhelming user experience? At least offer something of benefit because right now there is nothing worth paying for on the app unfortunately.

      1. Hi Sarah – Thanks for your feedback. Marco Polo remains a free app, and the Plus membership plan is completely optional. Regarding emojis, Plus gives you use any emoji from your keyboard.

    12. I would MUCH rather watch an ad every few polos than pay a sub. I have far too many subs as is and will never pay $5 a month. I’ll probably just stop using it as the 2x feature is one is the best parts. Everyone in my contact list feels same way. Real shame.

      1. Hi Dave – We hear your feedback, and we’re sorry you’re thinking of switching away from Marco Polo. We understand that moving extra features like 2x behind the Marco Polo Plus paywall is upsetting to some. But our business model includes a commitment not to show ads, nor to sell our users’ privacy or personal data.

    13. This is so sad!!!! I’ll just move to messenger…it’s free and you can talk to 13 people live at the same time….going to miss the Marco Polo I’m used to!!!😢😢😢

      1. Hi Rebecca – Thanks for your feedback, and we’re sorry to hear you’re thinking of switching away. Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with unlimited chats, unlimited groups, and saved Polos. The Plus membership plan is completely optional, and the free version remains a great way to stay in touch.

      1. Hi Jeanne – the annual cost is per account. We are hearing from folks about the wish for a family/group plan, and we’re passing that feedback along to our product team.

      1. Hi Dc – Great question. Sending/receiving Polos is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app, and your Polos will stay saved no matter which plan you use. A few other examples of how the Plus experience works with the free version are that Notes, Photo Polos, and custom emojis will be seen by all members in a chat, regardless of Plus status. Also, if a Plus user selects HD when sharing a Polo, an HD version of the Polo is saved to their camera roll and sent in higher quality, but not HD.

    14. I would rather watch ads than pay money to use the 2x button which—as everyone else is saying—is an essential part of this app being easy to use. Why not give users an option to watch ads for the 2x feature? Our budgets are already spread so thin, especially now that many of us are furloughed and unemployed. I’m sure many of us would agree that watching an ad would be preferable to the scenario you’ve presented.

      1. Hi Carrie – Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We understand that many people have strong feelings about this. As you’ve likely seen in earlier replies, our business model is built around adding value for our most avid users, providing a free version for millions, and never showing ads or selling our users’ privacy or personal data to the highest bidder.

    15. I love Marco Polo and got majority of my friends using it. Probably my favorite feature would be the helium option. When your having a rough day and you get a Marco in helium. You can not help but bust out laughing ! Thank you

      1. Hi Beth – Thank you so much, and we’re so glad the app is helping you and your friends stay close and laughing 🙂

      1. Hi JTexas – Thanks for the kind words and support! We’re so glad you love the app.

    16. I love Macro Polo and the ability to keep up with friends and family face to face on each of our own time schedules. (Unlike FaceTime if one party can’t talk then).

      I do wish that out of all the paid options, you would like 2x be free again. All the other ones I understand and is great to be paid for options. This app is great for young users that are just getting started in life and are short on extra cash and are short on time but still want to keep up face to face. Making the 2x option free would encourage these users to keep using your app and maybe lead them to pay for a subscription later when they have extra pocket change.

      1. Hi Deborah – So glad Marco Polo is giving you and your close friends & family a convenient way to stay in touch. Thanks for the feedback on features and pricing 🙂

    17. I love Marco Polo. I have gotten probably 40 people to join Marco Polo since I first started using it in January. Now I feel a little embarrassed that I have done that, and you are changing it so drastically. I understand you have to run a business, but your price is too high. I would pay a dollar a month, but not 5 or 10. It’s just not a justifiable cost for something I don’t need. It’s a fun app, but I can use something else. Thanks

    18. honestly marco polo has saved my life. it has strengthened my connections with friends and family, and it has given me a place to vent and celebrate and cry and laugh and be real. i feel the real me is able to come across in a polo, my true intent comes through, as opposed to a text or a voice message. marco polo has drastically reduced my anxiety over calling/communicating with my loved ones. maybe it sounds silly to some people, but this app plays an important role in my mental health. i will happily be paying for the plus membership. thank you for what you do <333

      1. Hi Madeleine – This certainly doesn’t sound silly to us; it’s what Marco Polo is all about. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt message, and for your support.

      2. Ok guys, this is a business. Giving you something that had been awesome, completely free without irritating adds, for ages. I groaned a ‘noooo’ as well, but come on, they need to make money on their efforts, right?Why on earth do we all insist on being free loaders? Of course the 2x is a paid item, that thing is GOLD for those long winded folks we all know. Haha. That’s what some people will decide is worth paying for, or not.
        Get over it, pay for perks or make due without. My budget means w/o for now, but maybe not later. Pick your subscriptions, maybe drop another one if this is so life shaking for you.
        Thanks for the add free experience and protecting our info, and still letting me chat with my fam Marco Polo! I’ll remain a loyal user. ❤

      3. Hi Lauren – Thanks for this perspective and your support – we’re so glad to hear the free version will work for you 🙂

      4. Many users would be happy to continue to help support the app they love with a more reasonable price. One recommendation was to have tiers that included 2x at a more reasonable price, another was a 1 time cost of like $19.99 (which is still a lot for an app), and another was to have all users pay a much smaller monthly fee like $2. Those recommendations all make a lot more sense and would retain customers.

        The primary complaint is the steep price for what is being offered and was once completely free. When apps launch Premium options, typically it is an ADD on to current features. It doesn’t take the most popular ones and put them behind a pay wall during a time when funds are short for many & keeping in touch virtually is so important.

        Many of the replies from MP say that there were tough decisions to find a balance, but there’s not really a balance in the eyes of many long time customers. The loss of 2x is a deal breaker for many because of the time it saved which made the app different than just sending a video message via text or fb etc. That one feature is not worth $10 a month or $60 up front. People aren’t saying they don’t want to pay & support the app. The new “Plus” option feels like a very expensive bait and switch.

      5. Hi Kristen – We want to acknowledge the feedback on features and pricing that we’ve received from our user community and sincerely thank everyone for the input. We made these tradeoffs to achieve a sustainable, ad-free business while continuing to provide a great free offering. Some are understandably upset that we moved previously free, extra features into our paid plan. At the same time, for daily users, the option to upgrade is less than $.15/day for an annual membership, and includes many brand new features that provide additional value (details here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/). If Plus isn’t a good fit, the free version still provides an unlimited way to stay in touch.

      6. Thank you for your reply, Lindsay.

        I was given a two month trial of the new Plus version that just expired, and it is simply not worth $60 up front annually or $10 a month when compared to other apps value/cost. There was no difference in how I used the app from the old version and Plus. I also did not note any difference in video quality. And as noted before, the one feature that makes the app worth using & different than just sending video messages back and forth (or setting up a group zoom call each week) was the 2x feature. The other adds in Plus did not have any benefit for most users who simply want to send videos and be able to speed them up during playback. It still feels like a very expensive bait & switch, and now I’m unable to revert to the old version.

        Eventually people will find an alternative option or will go back to just using weekly virtual meeting apps. It’s unfortunate because had this been handled differently with a more reasonable offering for the previously free features (and possibly another look at overhead costs), I believe the goal of a sustainable app could have still been achieved without so many upset customers.

    19. I’m not sure if this would help the sound issue I currently have with the regular Marco Polo. The sound is terrible. My polos sound as if I’m in a wind tunnel or sitting next to a fan. Would the upgrade fix that?

      1. Hi Sylvia – Sound, connectivity, sending/receiving, or other technical/app issues aren’t a function of which version of the app you’re using. We’d be glad to help investigate what could be happening. Please email our support team, contact@marcopolo.me, and they’d be happy to help you out.

      2. My friend had that and it was fixed with a new phone. Most likely a hardware or mic issue I would guess, not the app.

    20. The best part of this app was feeling like you could do day to day life with your loved ones without the pressure of Facetime. Part of that was rambling about your day, knowing that was okay because the person listening had it on 2x. I know I’m one of many who just turned off their notifications and is going to avoid using this app. I don’t know whose idea it was to make people start paying for low quality video when so much of the country is unemployed, but it’s a terrible one. I wish you would at least give us the option to watch ads instead of just being yet another company that chooses profit over people.

      1. Hi Emily – As you’ve probably seen in earlier replies, our business model includes a commitment never to show ads and not to sell personal data to the highest bidder. Plus is an optional upgrade, and while we understand that some folks are upset by moving 2x behind the Plus paywall, our free version provides an unlimited opportunity to stay in touch.

      2. I love the app and feel it has brought our family closer! But we also have very tight budgets!
        I do not mind paying but feel going to the cost you did was just TOO MUCH!
        So far of all my hundred or more friends and family on here only one person has become paid! If you cut the cost in half I think all would pay. It’s just too much.

      3. Hi Rebecca – We appreciate your input on pricing. As you might have seen in earlier comment replies, as weighed the options for features and pricing, we worked hard to create a balance between providing a lot of additional value for people who avidly use the app every day, and still providing a great free option for millions of folks. No matter which version you and your family & friends use, you’ll be able to stay in touch with each other. Thanks again for your feedback.

    21. It’s bull crap that you’re hiding features and asking us to pay I’m just gonna move over to SnapchatAlong with the other 25 people that use it for business with me

    22. My husband and I both use Marco Polo. We are over 60 and our families are around the world. It doesn’t make sense for us to each pay for a membership. Can’t you offer a family plan like Netflix, Prime, or other subscription services?

      1. Hi Valinda – Right now we don’t offer a family or group plan for Marco Polo Plus, but we are hearing our users’ feedback around this. It’s also important to note that the Plus membership is completely optional and that the FREE version still gives you unlimited chats and groups. The free version is a great option for staying close across distance and time zones.

      1. Hi Danielle – thank you so much for your feedback and support – we hope you love Plus!

    23. This is nothing more than monetizing the social distancing created by the coronavirus crises. I am HIGHLY disappointed in the lack of integrity.

    24. I hate the way you are making people pay for what they have already had all along!! If you are upgrading, make it a true upgrade! Add better features for those who want to pay, but leave the old polo features alone!! This is wrong!! Wrong to take stuff away if people do not want the upgrade! I don’t know who you got your ideas from, but they stink! The filters, and voice changers have always been crap! Get rid of those! But the emojis, 2x, and interruption features should stay with the original plan. Get it together! Don’t bully people into giving you money!

      1. Hi RC – We understand, and just to clarify, the Plus membership does include a lot of new features (details at https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/) but more to your point, is completely optional. Marco Polo is and remains a free app.

    25. Totally understand having to move some features behind the paywall. It is a business after all and you need revenue to keep the app we love running. Thank you for continuing to offer a free version and a plus version for those who want the extra features. And thanks for not selling our data! There’s huge trust developed in that fact alone. Best wishes to the Marco Polo team for all you do.

      1. Agree completely! We have been using MP for free to share life with our loved ones, and everyone will be able to continue to do so in your new plan. However, we will gladly pay for a plus subscription to pay your workers for their work. Why do people think it’s scandalous for you to ask to be compensated for your skill and effort? I’m so glad our time and attention are not sold to the highest bidder through ads!

      2. Hi Julie – Great to hear – thank you for this input and for your support 🙂

    26. I understand the need to charge more to keep your great business running, but I feel like $60 a year is too high! I was thinking I would definitely upgrade until I saw the price tag. If it was a one-time $5-10 upgrade, I think you would keep a lot of people instead of losing them and get a lot more to buy into the upgrade.

      1. Hi Jenn – We understand what you’re saying. Plus adds a lot of features and value for people who use the app every day, but we know that it won’t be a fit for everyone. That’s why we’re continuing to provide the free version, which still includes unlimited chats & groups, voice effects & filters & emojis. Thanks for commenting!

      2. Me too. I read the email and thought okay, this is reasonable and expected, I’ll be happy to pay. Then I saw the cost and it’s just too much. I would have gladly paid $3/month or a yearly fee of $25.

    27. I’m very happy to pay for creativity and hard work! Taking an idea through development and then building a sustainable business? Amazing. Thrilled to be part of the journey. I was going to reply to the hater, but I’ve been there: when I was unwell, full of anger, bitterness, resentment and pain I lashed out too, and I’m still making amends. I hope they are in a better place soon. Well done on a fabulous product. It’s really helped me during the pandemic and current turbulent times. Thank you!

      1. Hi Erin – Thank you so much for the words of support! We completely understand the emotions around these changes. And we’re so glad the app has helped you through these challenging times.

    28. I don’t like dat uguys are charging for dis update I liked it just the way it was I thing uguys should update for free cause if not I think uguys would lose a lot of customers just saying but I really do love this app tho my friends and family use it a lot…

      1. Hi Polu – We completely understand, and thanks for your feedback. The free version includes unlimited chats and groups, voice effects and camera filters, notification controls, and emojis, so it still provides a great way for you and your friends & family to stay in touch.

    29. You people are mean and out if control!!!! Seriously, all the hate being thrown out is horrible!!! Marco Polo has changed and enriched my friendships in countless ways!!! I am happy to pay the $60 dollars per year to have them be there!

      1. Hi Susan – We’re grateful for your support and so happy the app has enriched your friendships. Thank you!

    30. I have been one of the first users of MP & loved everything the company stood for. You provided a platform for me and my family to connect more than we ever have before.

      I talk with one of my close friends who lives in Italy EVERYDAY! Prior to MP, we wouldn’t have been able to communicate as often.

      I understand you have bills to pay & overhead to cover. You have a business to run. However, when you take away the things that make MP….“MP”, you no longer have that tribe of racing fans going to war for/with you.

      You all would always take our feedback…and you would “always” deliver! Most apps or SAAS leave the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as the free & then give an option to upgrade with added features and benefits.

      Even if you would have been transparent with your community, and had a “donate” button at the top of the screen if there were financial challenges with the company…I’m certain the MP community would have showed up in overwhelming response bc of how you’ve always shown up for us.

      Even if you started with display ads at the top, I’m sure there are businesses who would pay large amounts of capital for that tiny space. …and that still wouldn’t have taken away from the “feel” of MP.

      I’m sure there are plenty of app enhancements that the community would have to make it a more meaningful app. What would have been cool is if you take those ideas & and added “those” to the Plus version (without taking away the things we use now). You could’ve even “grandfathered” in the original users into the Plus just for being faithful followers/users. Those were the original warriors.

      Your usage and growth, I’m guessing, has gone down since you’ve made these changes. But that’s just a wild guess. Hopefully you take these suggestions and really reevaluate making this move.

      Say all of these things in love and positivity.

      1. Hi Chris – Thanks for all this thoughtful feedback! We want to be sure our users understand that Marco Polo is and remains a free app with unlimited chats, unlimited groups, voice effects, camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. And the Plus membership, with its new features and added value for our most avid users, is completely optional. Here’s a link to more info: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

      1. Hi You Wish – Right now there isn’t a family/group plan, but we’re hearing our users’ feedback about this and are sharing it with the product team. Thanks.

    31. Hi Marco Polo team! I just wanted to say thank you for the amazing app, you’re all working so hard to make this app what it is and you deserve to be paid for that work. I genuinely believe the majority of people on this app, that may be less likely to post comments, understand this and thank you for your dedication. All the best to you all. William.

    32. I feel like people don’t understand that businesses exist to make money. If you’re using a free app, you are not the business’ customer. You haven’t spent any money. I think their commitment to not sell info and keep ads off is refreshing in an age when ads are EVERYWHERE. And this is coming from someone who likely won’t be paying for it (at least not right away) but also recognizes that it’s really kind of ridiculous to complain about something you’ve been getting for free. It’s not like Polo owes any of us anything. Bottom line- I think the commitment to ad free is great, and the commitment to fighting the loneliness epidemic is even better. Keep it up!

      1. Hi Jasmine – We appreciate your perspective 🙂 And we’re so glad you’re planning to use the free version to stay in touch. Thank you!

    33. The double speed thing is big. I’m sure in beta testing and market analysis, you compared it against filters, voice mods and responses. I can readily say that I’ve used 2x more than any of them. Without it I may stop using this app. Already seeking alternatives; if not I’ll fall back on Facebook voice messages, for example. What’s the difference if you’re cutting out everything that made you unique

      1. Hi Zoe – Thanks for your feedback, and we’re sorry to hear you’re thinking of switching away from Marco Polo. If it’s helpful, see an earlier reply in this thread: You can still skip ahead 10 seconds or go back 5 seconds in the free version of Marco Polo. Also in our free version, you can skip to the next or jump back to the last Polo. The skip feature isn’t as convenient or fast as 2x or the time scrubber. But, we wanted to make sure you knew that skipping ahead or back is still available and free, as are unlimited chats & groups, voice effects & camera filters, and emojis.

    34. I don’t think my 13-plus app contacts will all opt to do the upgrade and pay. So how do we ensure we can talk to al of our contacts if I pay the fee but the persons I’m speaking to didn’t pay the fee? How does that work? I’m a fan of making money and keeping your business going but there should be other ways to do it. You don’t seem to be offering much in the pay option to actually pay for it. While it would be disappointing to have the 2x taken away, I would not pay to have it. So there must be more options, fun and cool options to make the pay worth it.

      1. Hi Rose – Great thoughts and question, thanks. First off, Marco Polo chats are unlimited and available to all, whether you’re using the free version or you’re a paid member of Marco Polo Plus. Users of the free version may notice that Plus subscribers have certain features, but the ability to chat with any of your contacts on Marco Polo does not change across versions. Regarding what’s offered in the Plus version, there are many new features that add value – voice-only Polos, HD option, custom emojis, live texting, scratchpad, Plus Passes to give away, and more. Here are details: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

    35. I like the app and many of my friends enjoy it too. However, paying sixty dollars is not being received as an option for us at this time. Therefore, we’ll just use FaceTime and other free apps. Thanks for the memories.

      1. Hi Harold – We’re sorry you’re thinking about switching away from Marco Polo – thank you for your feedback. And just to be clear, Marco Polo is and remains a free app; Marco Polo Plus is a completely optional upgrade. Details are here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

    36. I won’t be using this app anymore if I have to pay for it. Plus I need the 2x feature which I can’t have if I don’t pay. Makes me very sad that you are going to be charging. This is how I am keeping in touch with my sister that lives hundreds of miles away.

      1. Hi again Debbie – We apologize for any distress that removing extra features might cause. If you change your mind, know that the free version remains a great way to stay in touch, with unlimited chats, groups, and other features. Thanks again for your feedback.

    37. Why would you charge for the services that you had free for years and not add new services. Either change back to before or lose our services. Also during the current climate in the country I haven’t heard how the CEO of this company feels about Black Lives Matter because your response matters. I hope this comment makes it public I’ll screen shot and wait.

      1. Hi Oscar – The topic you raise is an important one, and most especially a topic that our CEO Vlada Bortnik is focused on integrating into her work as she believes Black Lives Matter. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on this critical issue, and thank you for the question.

      1. Hi Robert – With the rollout of the Marco Polo Plus membership plan, a few of the extra perks, like 2x and Photo Polos, will be behind the Marco Polo Plus paywall. The free version of the app remains a great way to stay in touch. You’ll find details about which features are included with Plus and the new free version here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

      1. Hi Mike – With the launch of Marco Polo Plus, we now offer two ways to use Marco Polo: a paid membership for people who rely on Marco Polo every day, and a free app that looks and feels different but remains an incredible way to keep in touch. The Marco Polo Plus paid membership is completely optional. You’ll find more information here: http://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

    38. Shoddy business practices like these don’t get my money. The 2x feature is the only reason to use MP versus another product, so I’ll just use something else if you’re going to make that a paid feature.

    39. Many of us and fiends will going back to Glide app for free. You had to pay $5 per month to use MP. Will lost lot of customers Good luck

      1. Hi Kathryn – Thanks for your feedback, and we’re sorry you’re thinking about switching away from Marco Polo. Just to clarify, Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with an optional premium membership plan. Details are here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

    40. MP is great – I am willing to pay a low, reasonable price to help sustain this valuable site – it keeps an 89y.o. in touch with family visually and verbally – verbal is good for information – add vision – gives one the non verbal information – it is closer to the family essence – next best to physical presence

      1. Hi Sheldon – Thank you so much for this feedback, and we’re so glad Marco Polo is helping your family members stay in touch!

    41. A couple of things, I enjoy the app but don’t use it enough to pay $60 a year. The only feature I like is the x2 for when my sister goes on and on. I would pay $30 a year for that but not $60. The second thing, I don’t like when someone sees that I’ve used MP. I have a relative that thinks I’m leaving her out of discussions. Just to let you know, It’s not a good privacy policy, in my opinion.

      1. Hi Peter – Thanks for the pricing and feature feedback, which we’ll pass along to our product team.

    42. $60 for a whole year of quality face-to-face contact with hundreds of family members and friends is an AMAZING VALUE! It’s a measly 6 cents a day! And no ads. You’re a wonderful company. 😎

    43. $60 is cost prohibitive. It’s a fun app but definitely not a necessity. My friends have yet to see the new free version with some of our favorite features removed and now considered worth $60, but we’ve already discussed alternatives. I wish you all luck. You created a fun product that connected us. I’d pay something for it, but no where near $60.

    44. I support you in moving to a sustainable plan. This is a great app. I will not join now but as I increase contact w my family it will feel very okay to fork over a little dough. I’m not there just yet.

      1. Hi Elizabeth – Yes! We want you and your family members to have options, and we’re so glad the free version is working for you right now. Thanks for your input.

    45. I’m not sure how to post a stand alone comment so excuse me for responding under yours. I would consider paying, but the deal breaker for me is that you took away features that we used for years, and now you want us to pay. (specifically the video response) I disagree with making people pay for features they’ve had all along.

      1. Hi Steph – Thank you for this input. And as you probably saw in earlier replies, the decision to move some features into Plus comes from our commitment to business sustainability, so that we can continue to provide a free offering to millions of people for decades to come. We do understand that users have come to love some of the features, like video reactions, that are now part of the Plus membership. These were hard choices, and we appreciate your feedback.

    46. Making us pay for the response feature and 2X feature is ridiculous. We Will all have to find a more user friendly app that won’t bait and switch.

    47. I don’t understand why my Marco Polo app has updated to the new features. Meaning everything is gone. However all of my friends still have the old features. This doesn’t seem hardly fair.

      1. Hi Cristal – Are your friends using Android, and are you using iOS? If so, this might explain why you’re seeing the changes but your friends are not. We’ll be rolling out the Android version soon.

    48. I moved away from all my friends. Because of marco polo I have been able to share frienship in a great way again. Thank you for keeping some things free. If I used it more on a daily basis I wouldn’t mind paying 10$ month. Ya’ll are great!!!!

      1. Hi Sandra – We’re so glad Marco Polo is helping to keep you and your friends in touch, and we’re so glad the free version is working well for you. Thank you for sharing your feedback 🙂

    49. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for the ability to see the faces of the people that mean so much to me. People that I have not been able to see and am not sure when I will be able to see them. I appreciate that this is free and am grateful for that in a world where everything has a cost. I have never been able to use the 2x feature and have been vacillating since I downloaded the app on paying since I think it would be useful. $60 for a year is more than reasonable. Pay it or don’t; your call. The simple truth is that is a reasonable expense and if you want the convenience you have to pay; that is the way it works. Thank you for this app. It has truly brought joy and connection in these dark and disconnected times.

      1. Hi Jen – We really appreciate this input and support, and we’re so glad Marco Polo has brought you joy through connection. That is what it’s all about. Thanks for commenting.

    50. I love how you are saying you want to fight the epidemic of loneliness..by taking advantage of the timing and charging $60…🙄. I wouldn’t mind paying something, but to charge that much out of the gate is a bit excessive. And, no family plan. Time to find another way to chat.

      1. Hi Alicia – Thank you for this feedback! We want to provide options, so Marco Polo is and remains a free app, with an optional premium membership plan. And, Plus Family is on the way! Currently it’s rolling out on both iOS and Android and will be widely available in the coming weeks. Please email marcopoloplus@marcopolo.me for more details.

      1. Hi Deb – Yes. Sending and receiving Polos is the same no matter which version of the app you’re using.

    51. My family loves your app and we will certainly continue to use the free app. For the price, I am not sure that we will be able to afford $60 a year for our 30+ family members. I look forward to seeing what the family rate is. It seems like you have some irate people and I admire how you are answering all of them diplomatically. All the best.

      1. Hi Deb – Thanks for your feedback; we’re so glad you and your family members are planning to continue with the free version! And yes, while we don’t have a family plan today, please stay tuned for developments on this front soon.

    52. $60 a year? My parents are extremely poor but all of us use this on a regular basis. One of our favorite features is the video reaction. They cannot possibly afford $120. I could understand 20 a year, which I would gladly pay for them, but I think you have just lost yourself a customer. We have loved Marco Polo for a long time, and you just seriously did yourself in by doing this. I understand you need money to keep this going, but $10 a month or $60 a year is way out of most people’s range. Most apps out there are way less. I’m extremely upset.

      1. Hi Christina – We understand that it’s upsetting to some that we’ve moved previously free, extra features like video reactions into our optional paid plan. We hope our community understands that we wouldn’t be making these tough decisions if we didn’t think they were critical to ensuring Marco Polo is around for years to come. Thank you for your feedback.

    53. I had a friend introduce me to Marco Polo 2 years ago. I sent links to all the members of my large immediate family. I described what the app was to the best of my ability, but I had yet to hear it called a “video walkie talkie”. A much easier way to describe it then I my explanation was. I received an unenthusiastic response from them, but they agreed to download it. About a week later I pulled it up again, ( I was busy with 12hr nursing shift for a few days). When I did was was surprised to see over 100 messages in our family group chat. Suffice it to say my family discov they loved it once they used it. 2 years later it has definitely helped my family keep a lot closer as we live in three different states. Even though I’m hundreds of miles away from them I don’t feel so distant. I get to keep up with my nieces and nephews as they’re growing. And his just made my family bond improve in a surprising way. I’m grateful that we discover this app and that it had been created.

      Text messaging is convenient but it isn’t as personal as Marco Polo. it’s much easier for somebody to take what you’re saying the wrong way over text. Video messaging is nice but time-consuming and you have to be there with each other at the same time. With Marco Polo you get the best of both worlds!

      1. Hi Seth – What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing it. You described the app’s benefits beautifully, and we’re so glad it’s helping your family stay in touch.

    54. I just got the plus so I can share my Marco Polo to my text, did I read that wrong or am I not seeing how to do that. Please advise.

    55. I have really grown to love Marco Polo and use it to stay in touch daily with my key peeps. I will pay for the plus version. Would you please consider offering a 1.5 X speed? 2X is too fast!
      Ps, I am 63 years old, on a fixed income, but you guys are worth it!

    56. I love MP! My son was diagnosed with Cancer last year. So we were all in quarantine for months. Now my son and I are separated from the rest of the family so he can receive treatment. MP is our lifeline. I am so happy you value our privacy. I am happy to pay to improve and sustain this amazing app!! Thank you for all you are doing.

      1. Hi Holly – Thank you so much for sharing your family’s story – we’re sending strength and good wishes as your son embarks on his treatment and as you all walk this road together. <3

    57. Just want to clarify…I am wanting to stay with the free version. It looks like I needed to do something by Aug 1st. I have an Android. Will I be automatically changed to paying or can I still stay with the free? Can’t find details on how this is working.

      1. Hi Kelli – Thank you for the great question. Our rollout of Marco Polo Plus for Android is in progress, so over the next couple of weeks, anyone using the old version of Marco Polo will update to the new free version. You don’t need to do anything special; you’ll see information in-app when the update occurs. And Plus is a completely optional upgrade, so you will not be charged for Plus unless you subscribe.

    58. I am so thankful for this app and my sister for asking me to join, she’s all i have left from our family. Marco polo helped with my depression, see i hadn’t seen or spoke to my sister in quite some time. Now being able to see her and chat back n forth it has lifted my spirit’s thru the roof. I cried my eye’s out in tear’s of joy. I haven’t felt this good in a long time. I hope you continue the free app for year’s to come. I tell everybody about Marco polo. I cant thank you enough 💖👍💟👍

      1. Hi Teresa – Thank you so much for sharing your story. We’re so happy that Marco Polo is helping you move through this tough time and find joy in keeping you connected to your sister <3

    59. Perhaps they could offer an ads-on feature that would allow revenue streams while allowing users to support the team if they cannot pay for premium. Ads would be from verified vendors and organizations who also would support and use Marco Polo. It would be a conscious choice for a mutually supportive world-wide community of thinkers and innovators. Marco Polo could be a way to educate, with recorded classes, in concert with countries trying to meet educational needs for citizens whose only outside connections might be a smartphone. Peer-reviewed scientifically sound content can be summarized and shown through short videos advertised to the Marco Polo community as a click-to-see offer. Public informmation campaigns in this way could facilitate reaching people in many scenarios.

      1. Hi Danny – Thank you for sharing this innovative thinking. We’ve passed your idea along to our product team 🙂

    60. Thank you Marco Polo for creating an app that so many people love. Thank you for making it free. Thanks for not selling our information and bombarding us with ads! Thank you for explaining your reasons behind offering a paid version. I’m not sure yet if I’ll upgrade, but thanks to your continued generosity I still get to use your cool app. I’m sorry, Sarah, that your job entails reading angry posts from people who feel entitled 😬. Anyway, because I understand why you are offering an upgrade, I’m way more likely to consider it.

      1. Hi April – Thanks for your understanding of these big changes. We’re so glad the free version will continue to be a great option for you!

    61. Marco Polo – I love your app and REALLY want to continue using it. But I, nor any of my friends or family will be paying $60 to use it – and without the 2x speed, it’s not worth it. My suggestion is to put ads in the free version, with an option to pay to remove the ads. Paying to remove ads is something I will do. Paying for basic features is not something I will pay for.

  1. Can you make a change to the emoji interface? Two ideas:

    -have a button that opens up a tab showing more emoji options, maybe 16 or 20? Then the three or four most used ones will show up in the column that shows your current options.

    -have the emojis that people press show up on that horizontal blue scrolling timeline at the spots that they press them, or else anyone watching a video after the fact will have no idea who pressed it and at what point in the video they did so.

      1. It’s very disappointing to see your community’s pleas falling on deaf ears. I’ve seen hundreds of comments on your blogs, twitter, Instagram, and reviews in the App Store, overwhelmingly against the changes and your team thinks these people will stick around after you ignore them again and again? Do you think these people are suddenly going to cave and pay? No. You’re going to lose a significant number of users and the negative reviews will continue to flood.

        Your new free version offers nothing more for users beyond what their phones are already capable to doing right now. I can send a short video clip in a group chat easily. I can react to messages. iMessage already offers more filter feature than you guys. The vital difference MP offered was the ability to watch through seamlessly at 2x speed and without that feature there is nothing to keep on free users – but you’re making it clear you do not care about your users who aren’t able/willing to spend $120 a year.

        Your team had many options to create a premium Marco Polo that truly was an “evolution” and landed downgrading your base product to something that is no different from texting someone a video. Ads were not the only option, there are SO MANY ways you could improve the app and make a premium version a step above the standard, but your team did the bare minimum and upon realizing it wasn’t enough to charge for you took away basic functionality. You keep responding saying a lot of thought was put into these decisions, but clearly not enough. And even after months of your audience making it clear this is not the path, you still refuse to listen.

        I’ve been an enthusiastic user since the beginning and I’ve personally recruited dozens of my own friends and family to get on the app who then went and did the same. These users you are ignoring are the reason why you have so many users to begin with. Every friend/family member user I’ve discussed this with has also expressed their disappointment and intention to delete come the paywall.

        So disappointed in the lack of creativity and innovation by the Marco Polo team and even more disappointed by your refusal to listen to the overwhelmingly negative feedback of your users. Had there truly been an “evolution” of the app and more exciting new features, I probably would have considered subscribing, but this is just bad business.

        I’ll be sad to delete after all this time come the switch in August, but the lack of care and effort from your team leaves me with no desire to support a team that does not care to listen to it’s user base.

      1. Claudia: This app asked me to pay $10 a month and I was like heck no. But me and several of my friends just deleted the app and re downloaded it. It then stopped asking us for premium and let us use all the features. It also kept all our previous videos so don’t worry about losing those. Marco Polo: I’m very disappointed with this app. I will continue to use it only because it’s the only way I can “see” a dear friend. But past that, this app sucks.

    1. I have been wanting more emojis as well. Because with the limited options, the person making the polo doesn’t know what that emoji means. I have had this problem way to many times. And I am sad for the Marco Polo plus. My friends usually send really long polos and the 2x really helped me. Sorry but I am not gonna pay that much for an app that I will probably only have for a few more months.

  2. I am wondering if you have anyone that gives input on the accessibility for the blind? My friend and I do use that app but some things are a little confusing. We use voiceover on our iOS.

    1. Hi Jan – Are there issues you’re encountering with voiceover? We’d be happy to pass the feedback on to our product team!

  3. While I am sad that the 2x feature will no longer be free, I do appreciate not having ads. This is one reason why I don’t use Snap Chat as much. I also enjoy the simplicity of Marco Polo. So I hope that the new changes are not complex and remain intuitive. Thanks for the heads-up!!

    1. And thanks for creating such a Family friendly app!! It’s great that kids can use the app to stay in touch with other friends and family.

      1. Hi Charese – Thank YOU! We’re grateful for your feedback, and so glad that the app is helpful for you and your family!

    2. I feel the same way. I was kinda bummed when I saw it was moving to premium. That 2x is convient when you have 100 messages. Heck up to a 4x would probably be understandable while being even quicker when you’re feeling impatient.
      But being “thrifty” (not cheap; I swear!😉) Another subscription made me sigh. However, I get it. The app is amazing. My family loves the benefits and it being advertisment free has been awesome. i figured at some point we were going to have to contribute to the company for their hard work and genius developers. It will definitely be worth it as long as the keep the pricing reasonable. Do it like Netflix has for so long. 😁. Hey, then they could add more features. Maybe start their own studio where you could pull up shows they make or maybe take on TikTok! I look forward to seeing that app continue to evolve when they have a decent profit margin. Just keep the main feature awesome.
      If Marco Polo ever goes public with an IPO I hope they give long time users a spot in the head of the line. Hint, hint whoever’s monitoring these messages. 🤪😇

    1. Hi Kristy – We’re sure that’s not possible 🙂 But seriously, thank you for the input. We’re making sure the product team has access to everyone’s feedback!

    2. Yes, more filters and a touch up feature. I would subscribe for touch up. Zoom has a subtle touch up that is practically imperceptible. It doesn’t have to be SnapChat level touch up, but something that smooths rather than the current highlight-every-flaw so we all look like ogres would be nice.

      1. Hi Leah – Thanks! We’re passing along all these suggestions and feature requests to our product team.

      1. Hi Bobbi – Thank you! We’ve given our product team the feedback on filters.

  4. My biggest request would be able to listen in the background like I can with YouTube Premium. I’m in a couple Marco Polo groups I just want to listen to while doing other things on my phone but I can do I end up just not using the app as much. I’ll pay for premium account if we can get this feature for.ios. thanks

    1. I agree with Ryan! I use an app called voxer and I love it because I can listen to my message and do other things on my phone. I use it the most when I’m driving so i can see my GPS but still listen to really long messages. 🙂

      1. Hi McKenna – thanks to you and Ryan for your input. We’ve forwarded this feature request to our product team! 🙂

      1. I have loved using Marco Polo for several years. It is my lifeline to my 6 kids and 23 grandkids, all of whom live out of my state. My hubby and I are old, in poor health and terribly lonely for our family. Marco Polo is a miracle for us. We can’t spontaneously use the telephone, so leaving a M P message WHEN we feel able to…AND to watch
        and listen to a loved one also WHEN we feel able is a lifesaver for us. I wish only that I knew how to send a Marco Polo to myself. I would do so to give a video journal or tell my life story. I would add to it as I remember things from my entire life. Is this possible?

      2. Hi Bethanie – This is all so lovely. To record Polos to yourself, you can create a group with just yourself as a member! On your app home screen, tap Contacts. Then tap Create Group. In the To box, enter your own phone number, and then tap Add. Then in the upper-right corner of the screen, tap Create. You’ll be able to record a Polo to your group, of which you are now the sole member. 🙂
        P.S. You can learn about the Marco Polo story here: https://www.marcopolo.me/our-story

      3. I would e happy to pay a reasonable fee for your wonderful service. I hope your company gets rich doing so! That is the American dream. I just hope I am happy with your results. Good luck

  5. I appreciate the openness on the evolution of the app. I gladly paid for the pro as I do use it every day. After considering how much my communication with my family has changed and how much more we are involved in each others lives, I will gladly pay the small fee to do so. Our relationships are worth that. I feel it’s affordable for now and greatly appreciate the efforts to make features for us that make the app even better!

    1. Hi Lisa – we so appreciate this feedback about Marco Polo Plus. We’re thrilled that the membership plan is giving you features that you value and helping you stay connected to your family. Thank you so much for your support.

  6. I could not pay fast enough for this app as it provides more value than I can express. I don’t think your customers understand that there is a paid app out there. But maybe since I’m a plus user I would not get any marketing about it. Don’t be afraid to market the plus feature. I need Marco Polo to EARN so others can communicate with me! Keep up the love you give us by building a solid well-organized product that millions use to keep connected.

    1. Great to hear from you, Robert! We’re getting the word out about the Plus rollout as we speak, and we’re so grateful for your sage perspective and your ongoing support. Cheers and many thanks.

  7. I’m fairly new to Marco Polo app. So if I don’t want to pay at least right now for the plus app do I have to switch back to an older version of Marco Polo? I wasn’t clear on that.

    1. Hi Lori – great question, thank you! When your app updates to include the Marco Polo Plus membership option, you can opt to choose the free version instead. This new free version will look and feel different from the old free version, so if you prefer, you can switch back to the old free version until August 1, 2020 – at which point everyone will either be on our new free version or members of Marco Polo Plus. Here’s more information: https://bit.ly/SwitchBackToOldExperience

  8. I LOVE the Marco Polo app. I’ve been in touch – actually regained friendships – more because of the “Polo” app than any other app, hands-down. Us: “Hey, I can’t text this, watch my Polo.” … “Omg you won’t believe what happened today, did you see my Polo?”

    As a breakup recovery guru, I strongly, STRONGLY recommend Marco Polo to reconnect with old friends and family >> it’s the #1 Rated way to start healing after breakups! Now, I’d tell you more, but you’d have to watch my Polo!

    1. Hi, 1 Year of Single – Love all of this. We’re so glad Marco Polo has been helpful in rekindling your friendships, which are so important to our emotional well-being. Thank you for your support and for recommending the app to your followers, too <3

  9. I’m really sad to hear 2x will be moving to the paid version because I use it for every polo. Because of this option here, I now use the 2x on YouTube and podcasts. It’s a whole new world being able to squeeze things in!! My time on my phone is limited because of work/school – so this is by far my favorite feature. :/ I want to pay, but I only use it to talk to 3 people for work/school… worth it? We’ll see!

    1. Would you consider giving a discount for current users. Several free apps that I have had over the years did this when transitioning to a paid version. Or perhaps a family discount. We have 5 kids (4 teens) and there is no way we can afford this at the current price point. Thank you.

      1. Hi Robin – thanks for your feedback on pricing. To help with the transition we’re giving existing users the chance to switch back to their old version of Marco Polo until August 1, 2020, at which point everyone will be either on our new free version or members of Marco Polo Plus. Here’s how: https://bit.ly/SwitchBackToOldExperience. Additionally, with the Marco Polo Plus membership plan, subscribers will have 6 Plus Passes to share with friends and family, which unlock 2 months free of Marco Polo Plus.

  10. Question – if one person has plus and the other doesn’t. Do they still get the “instant notifications” and the messages from “live texting”? How’s the integration? Or do they need plus, too, to make it a smooth process?

    1. Hi Shelby – We hear you. This is a big change. No matter which version of Marco Polo you and your friends use, you’ll be able to stay in touch. If you’re using Plus and your friends are using the free version, they’ll still receive your notifications and notes. And the free version includes unlimited chats, unlimited groups, voice effects and camera filters, notification controls, emojis, and the ability to upgrade at any point.

      1. Hello. Love your app. But related question: when one person has Plus and the other has Free, how will HD video work? Will the videos that Plus users receive from Free users be in HD? But the Free members just won’t see the response in HD? Also, if one person has Plus and posts a Photo Polo, I imagine the free person can still see it?

      2. Hi Marcos – Thank you! HD video is an option you can select when sharing a Polo. It saves an HD version of the Polo to your camera roll, and sends a Polo in higher quality, but not HD, to the other person. Notes, Photo Polos and custom emojis will be seen by all members in a chat, regardless of whether or not they’re using Plus.

  11. I’m really disappointed in the plus ideas. Taking away the pictures and the 2x. I’ve been using this app for the past year or so to help with my depression and to take away forms of communication is upsetting. If you’re trying to fight loneliness why punish those that already have the app and use regularly to have to pay? Do better Marco Polo.

    1. Hi, Disappointed – We understand. This is big, and change is tough, particularly for an app you use every day. We didn’t make any decisions lightly as we tested, iterated, and debated which features to move into Plus. The core of what users have come to love about Marco Polo is unlimited and free, including unlimited chats, unlimited groups, voice effects and camera filters, notification controls, and emojis.

  12. Hi Marco Polo Team! I’m glad that you’re making whatever changes are necessary to sustain this app and ensure longevity–it has certainly become a lifeline when other face-to-face communications have been limited. I wonder, as you examine your business infrastructure to support growth, can you speak to the demographics of your team and any thoughts or plans to diversify team members and/or ways in which Marco Polo might develop features to specifically benefit underserved communities who have access to the app (and other grassroots organizations working to lift those communities up?) That question came out bigger than I intended it to, and I don’t expect a response with an actual answer (unless it’s something you’re already working on!) I do imagine that I will become a paid subscriber and want to make sure that the companies I’m supporting are using their influence to play a role in enacting change however their technology allows. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica – Thank you for your thoughtful comment. We know Marco Polo is helping so many communities stay in touch, which is more important today than ever before. That’s why we’re making this business decision to focus on sustainability (let’s keep Marco Polo around and for free forever!), privacy (no data selling!) and building a premium product for our most avid users that makes staying in touch the most joyful and convenient. The questions you ask are important ones, and certainly something we’re focused on right now. We appreciate your support. Stay tuned to this blog for more updates.

  13. I would like to know ahead of time how long the video is that I’ll be opening. I hate to have to pause and come back to later, and then start over. Knowing length of chat would help immensely in prioritizing which one, when. I’m a new subscriber but spreading the word everywhere. Love your product w no ads and willing to consider what options you give us.

    1. Hi Rita – Thank you so much for spreading the word! Thanks, too, your feature request, which we’ll share with our product team.

  14. I have loved this app, but the fact that in the “Big Changes, Coming Soon,” email you didn’t even attempt to address the elephant in the room that is coronavirus as the reason you’re suddenly introducing a premium membership for features that have always been free, was monumentally disappointing. Your letter seem utterly disingenuous due to skirting the issue. Using vague phrasing like “considering everything,” (coronavirus), and, “We are heartbroken as we live through one of the most mentally and emotionally challenging times we have ever experienced,” (people dying of coronavirus and losing their jobs,) rather than actually speaking to what you’re really going through as a result of coronavirus doesn’t make me sympathetic enough to want to pay. It was good that you mentioned your team of engineers and talked about actual people and not just using feel good marketing catchphrases.

    There are ways of introducing an uncomfortable question (in this case soliciting paid membership) that show sincerity. It’s no secret that everyone is suffering from and adapting to the coronavirus world, why be vague about the reason for the change? As another commenter said, your app grew in popularity *through* its users, as did YouTube and other apps. Taking YouTube as an example, they have offered a better and different option of their product that is membership only, they haven’t given users the long-standing option for standard features and then suddenly taken them away. If it was your plan all along to create a paid membership for premium features you should have limited those features to a trial only basis from the start.

    I think that by making previously basic and included features premium all of a sudden, when I think it likely that the bulk and base of your users are normal working class individuals (who may or may not have jobs or income right now), is just really unfortunate planning on your part. There might be a few wealthy business/tech types who earn $60-100k a year and have the money to say, “Good product, absolutely worth it, easy peasy, take my credit card,” and hey, if you’re only appealing to that set of users it’s good for me to know that. I’m a teacher who’s abroad, not earning a ton, crushed to the ground by student loans, and trying to stay connected to their loved ones back home. I will not be able to use or promote an app that hasn’t gone about their developing with foresight and true candor.

    1. Hi Hannah – We understand the critical role in helping people stay in touch that we’re playing right now, and we take it seriously. We are also committed to doing everything we can to make sure Marco Polo is free for millions of more people for decades to come, without selling ads or personal data. That came with some difficult tradeoffs. Thanks for your honest feedback about how we put our message across.

    2. Hannah – Yes, yes, and yes. For a million reasons – I completely agree. What’s also disappointing is the copy and pasted responses from the Marco Team to any of these replies that are unhappy with this decision.
      Taking a previously free feature that we’ve become used to and used as a lifeline – and then charging for it (it sounds like the “free version” doesn’t have much in the way of options. If I want to send a video message – with no features – what do I need this app for? I’ve got a video and text message on my phone – included in my cell phone bill…:
      And I also agree with the other comments about the timing of this – in the midst of the greatest crisis in American recent history (add the world to that), where finances are a definite concern and the need for communication with others is vital – you all are more interested in filling your pockets?!
      I’d rather see a 5 second ad than pay any additional money for a photo filter or double speed.
      I definitely won’t be upgrading….(and I don’t need any copied responses from a Marco representative).
      Disappointing

      1. Hi Hannah – We completely understand. As you might have seen in earlier replies, we know that the optional Plus membership plan isn’t a fit for everyone. Marco Polo is and remains free, with unlimited chats, groups, contacts, and saving.

  15. $60 annually is a lot for us and I’m guessing this is per a phone and not a family plan. We have 5 people in the same household that use Marco Polo. I feel like $30 annually would be much more reasonable. I am shocked that you guys are choosing now to do this during the pandemic when times are hard. I will likely be looking for a new app to use. I have enjoyed using Marco Polo but the features you are taking away make it highly unlikely that I will want to continue. I have several friends and family that feel the same way.

    1. Hi Kelly – thanks for your feedback on pricing. With the Plus membership plan, subscribers will have 6 Plus Passes to share with friends and family that unlock 2 months free of Marco Polo Plus. If you decide to stick with Marco Polo and opt for the free version, it will include unlimited chats, unlimited groups, voice effects and camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. Know that the decisions we made came from our commitment to being a sustainable business while continuing to provide a great, free option.

      1. Free Plus for 2 months?! Well, that still
        help much for a family. As someone already mentioned…your fees will be beyond what a lot of people can afford. $60 for one phone isn’t really a deal. Especially when it has been free this whole time. Your price point is exorbitant.
        Also, you are getting so much feedback stating the 2x is so important to your current loyal users but you always reply that you are keeping what your users want on the free one. Sorry but, I could care less about sounding like a robot or having a weird color around my video when I am connecting with my family and friends. Because that is what it is supposed to be about…meaningful connections with your family and friends. Keeping you all connected and sane. 2x helped so much in being able to listen and hear the videos when you’ve missed like 10 polos from a group. When you take that away I will most likely have to skip and miss everything that was said because I will not have that chunk of time to go through all of those. And that doesn’t make for a meaningful connection.
        There have been a lot of great suggestions from many of your users (the people that brought you to where you are today) and you are responding with the same vague replies and aren’t really listening…which, if you are as “for the people” as you say, you should have opened this up from the beginning.
        A bit shameful.
        I also want to point out that I don’t think you should start charging at all…I just think the price is way out of line and the features you are taking away from your current users is disappointing to say the least.

      2. Hi Kelly – Thanks. We’re hearing the feedback on pricing, and we do understand that some are upset about moving certain features, like 2x, to the paid membership plan. We’re also passing along all ideas and feature requests to our product team.

      3. But that still doesn’t address a family. I have gotten my whole extended family using Marco Polo and they use it with their kids. So a family of 6 would cost a significant amount of money. Have you considered a family plan?

      4. Hi Rachael – At this time we don’t have a family/group plan, but we will pass this feedback on to our product team.

  16. I lost my mother to Covid on May 21st. We both downloaded it at the beginning of quarantine, as she was in a nursing home and we couldn’t visit her. She was only 63. We used it all the time, especially when she was in the hospital. While I’m in too much pain to watch them yet, I’m terrified of losing the videos. I am panicked thinking this could happen, and also panicked at having to watch them when I’m not ready in order to save them. I need to understand if I could ever lose them. Would this mean they could be taken from me if I don’t pay? Would they ever disappear if I had to uninstall the app and reinstall? If you could give me a detailed answer it would help quell my anxiety. Thank you!

    1. Beverly, we’re so sorry for your heartbreaking loss, and for your pain at not being able to be with your mother when she was sick and when she passed. Please know that your videos will stay saved no matter which Marco Polo plan you use, and no matter how much time you need to take before watching them. We do archive chats that have been inactive for more than 90 days, but archiving does not delete your Polos; you can return to them at a later time. Here’s a detailed article with more information about how that works: https://support.marcopolo.me/article/158-archived-polos

  17. I love this app! I hope the paid feature includes A LOT more than the free stuff we are already used to… $5/month is a lot. That’s what I pay for Disney Plus! Lol I just hope at that price, there’s some new really cool features to look forward to.

    1. love this app. i am a teen and i use this as a fun way to talk with friends. sometimes it’s nice because you just don’t want type everything and you can just talk!

  18. Totally understand wanna wrestle this must have been for you. I do tend to agree that provide better upgrades for a paid service rather than taking features away from your loyal users would have been my preference, but I have no idea what things are like on your end. I guess time will tail to see if which option I will choose.

    Feature I have been wanting I have asked for is an indicator on each video of how long it is. That is a feature that makes a Voxer more user-friendly. I tend to be long-winded and want my friends to know how much time they be spending if they listen to something I’m sharing. 🙂 And when my time is limited, I like to have that information on my end as well. I do love this app and I’m grateful for how it has allowed me to stay connected, Which has been on a more important during this pandemic.

  19. ps I do have to say that I am so grateful that you are willing to draw the line on selling data and on ads. I have to remind myself that we as customers often look only at our pocketbooks… Which is no small thing to look at… Without understanding the real psychological and emotional impact that constant marketing can have on our lives. It’s like we get used to it and find workarounds for it but it doesn’t mean that the noise still doesn’t have an impact on our psyches. I guess a lot of this is about what we value and how we want to pay for connection… With visual and psychological noise and people making money off her data, we’re having a more peaceful app that costs direct money rather than interact through being suckered into marketing ads. 🙂

    1. Hi Em – “A more peaceful app” – love the way you captured that. We’re grateful that you’re using and enjoying the app, whether you decide to go with a Plus membership or the free version! Regarding your feature request, if you’re using Plus you can tap a Polo to pause it, and see the length of the Polo next to the speed control 🙂

  20. Hello! I would rather have ads than have to pay! Could you have an ad free option that people pay for and if you use the free option you have ads. I have a lot of other apps that function that way. I won’t pay for Marco Polo especially at 5 dollars a month. But I may be in it less if I can’t x2. I don’t mind looking at ads to keep it free.

    1. Hi Jenni – Thanks for sharing your feedback. We hear where you’re coming from. An important differentiation between Marco Polo and other social networking apps is that we don’t show ads, and we will never sell your personal data. That’s why we’ve decided subscription is the right business model for us to continue to serve.

  21. I just have one question but it will make a huge difference for me. One of the reasons I loathe Facebook and Instagram is the way they do whatever they want with my personal info. (Now that FB owns Instagram). Are you truly wanting to provide a protected app or to create one you can sell off to the highest bidder regardless of their business practice? MP is my go to app and I’ve gotten all my friends to join because of no adds and privacy. I’m happy to pay to maintain that but not if your ultimate plans are to sell off to someone who has lied repeatedly or who cares very little about user safety. Thank you.

    1. Hi Major – thank you so much for your support and for sharing Marco Polo with your friends. From the start, we’ve committed to never collecting our user data to sell to advertisers. We will never show ads in Marco Polo. We will never manipulate algorithms. We don’t believe these are good models, and we refuse to sell privacy and personal data to the highest bidder.

  22. I understand the need to pay for continued improvements and new features but to completely take away from the integrity of the app is not a wise move. I say add new wonderful features that will add value. Don’t just drop those who use this during a really hard struggle to see family. In our economic decline only those who can afford it will switch while the others suffer.

    1. Hi Leslie – It’s true that with the launch of Marco Polo Plus, our free version will look different. Know that Plus is a completely optional upgrade, and that we’ll continue to invest in making our free experience a great one.

  23. Formally your audio went directly to my hearing aids, then that stopped and I have to go to live listening. Has that issue been solved?

  24. I use the 2X regularly. It will be hard to do without it. I will really miss the photo option. But the real hard thing is no more forwarding. I send stuff to my family chat group and then forward them to my husbands family chat group.

    $5/month seems like a lot. I really wish their was a “choose 2 features for $2/month” or something like that. That would be worth it but I don’t think $5/month is worth the plus features. I appreciate ads free but if you had an ads option with the Plus features, that is what I would choose. Or to pay $2/month for 2 “plus” features. I am disappointed.

    1. Hi Mari – Thanks for your feedback, and we hear you. As you might have seen in earlier replies, we made some difficult tradeoffs, but they were important ones that are helping us serve our most frequent users while creating a sustainable business and providing a great free offering for millions, for decades to come.

      1. But you didn’t make a trade off, did you? There is no trade. There are no added features in the ironically named “plus” plan. You’re *subtracting* commonsense, core functionality like fast forward, bookmarking and real-time response and hiding it behind a pay wall in a literal bait and switch, preying on lonely (and potentially economically disrupted) people during a pandemic. This isn’t about “sustainability,” it’s a cash grab (no matter how cute the graphics you use to spin it). You could have called this a free trial version if you planned on putting your most popular basic features behind a paywall. Or you could charge one-time, a-la-cart payments to unlock additonal features up front. But then you wouldn’t have built up such a big user base on your “free” platform, I reckon.

        Bad strategy. Bad business. Bad karma. Good luck.

  25. I will GLADLY pay this nominal fee for such a great product! My family uses it daily to stay in touch, and I love that there are no ads. I have no idea how you’ve been able to keep it free for so long without ads! It’s great that you are still offering a free app for those that don’t want to pay. Thank you so much for helping to keep my family connected! ❤️

    P. S. – it would be great to have a few more basic emojis.

    1. Hi Marci – thank you for the feedback, and for your support. You probably saw that Plus gives you the option to add any emoji from your keyboard. We’ll also pass along your suggestion to add more standard emojis 🙂

  26. I’m kinda disappointed as well cause my whole family has a chat and when I get behind that 2x is SUPER AWESOME but I understand and I never have felt inclined to pay just to get more feature on a app sorry

    1. Hi Lillie – No problem! We understand that the premium upgrade might not be a fit for your life right now, and there’s no obligation. We’ll continue to invest in a great free experience that keeps your family connected.

      1. Hi Kelly – You can use Marco Polo on your iPad! Marco Polo is compatible with Apple (iOS) devices, including iPads, running iOS 11 and above. Here’s a link to more information about compatibility: https://support.marcopolo.me/article/100-compatibility
        Note that you’ll need a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to send and receive videos on your device.

      2. Hey Marco Polo Team…it’s common sense to add new incredible features that people want to pay for rather than taking away a feature they were already given for free. Consider firing your marketing director …

        Consider reconsidering your “pro plan” features and what is worth an upgrade vs what is worth keeping your customers happy.

        You opened up your front door and are focused on ALL these new sales but left your back door open and will be saying goodbye to all your current ones. Round of applause for stupidity!!!!

  27. Hey Polo
    Love the app, use it everyday. When I first started using it a year and a half ago it would stream via Bluetooth to my hearing aids like every other feature on phone. Then one day it stopped. Have you figured out why? Would that be something corrected soon?

    1. Hi, Hearing Aid Head – Our product team is aware of the issue, and we’re also making sure to pass along the feedback about bluetooth that we’re seeing in response to this post. Thank you!

  28. I want to know the history of your app or company. Where did it start? Who’s idea? When did it start? Is it a family business? Are you in every country? We were able to visually communicate with our son, his new Chinese wife and their precious baby girl for nearly three years. It felt like a miracle and they were on the mainland. They returned to the states last April but still live far away in Alaska. How can I send Marco polos to myself so I can record my personal history?

  29. I think I would be happy to pay if there were more features avail. The features available are antiquated to say the least and removing the 2 so-so ones to premium which doesn’t even catch up to modern day features is not cool. I would not/will not pay for photo/2x, sorry but not worth it.

  30. I just reached out to the Marco Polo’s customer service department a couple days ago for a issue I was having with the app. I was SO impressed the quick, personalized response. (Thanks Jessi!)
    Marco Polo is my primary method of communication for friends I’ve met in an organization called PNP. Corrine Crabtree
    promotes the heck out of your app BTW.

    If long-term business growth and revenue is your end game, I agree with others that add-on features for the premium version would be a better strategy. Moving existing features such as the x2 speed to a paid subscription creates ill will with current customers and I suspect will impact your app ratings. Consumer behavior is more motivated to pay for extra perks not those that they are already receiving (Example- more leg room for premium airline seats, priority boarding, etc).
    Moving forward, I would recommend having your engineers focus on developing the most asked for feature and making it available as a premium feature. My vote would be the ability to multitask on my device while listening to Marco Polos.

    I’ll be signing up as I love your app. I believe in your business philosophy and want you to succeed.

    1. Hi Cindy – Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, and great to know you are a member of PNP Tribe! We are so grateful to Corinne for her support, as we’re grateful to you for yours. The Marco Polo Plus membership plan does include many new as well as improved features – you can check out a full listing here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  31. I would appreciate having a 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x feature! Sometimes 2x is too fast and I would love something in between. And some just talk pretty darn slow slow 2.5 would be helpful too. Please consider this update!

  32. Thank you for keeping this app ad-free!! It’s so nice to not be bombarded with garbage and really focus on the important things.

    One question, and it might have been answered above but, will paid accts still be able to communicate w free accts? I will be paying the little bit extra to keep this awesome app ad-free. It’s a small price to pay!

    1. Hi Cookie – thank you so much for your feedback. And yes, you and your contacts will be able to stay in touch with each other no matter which version of Marco Polo you’re each using, whether it’s Marco Polo Plus or the free version.

  33. Some really good AI auto captioning would be a welcome add to Marco Polo for people with disabilities. I’d pay for that.
    The ability to edit the captions would be even better. Disabled people plus the people who love them are a really big market. Thanks.

    1. Hi Erik – thank you so much for the feedback and feature requests, which we’ll pass along to our product team.

  34. i think this new update is annoying because with the old marco polo i already had voice, note , etc. but now i have to pay for that all over agin.. not worth it

  35. I’m new here and already can’t imagine how we’ve lived this long without cha. Brenda & I are displaced New Englanders living in Texas and thru Marco Polo we’re staying closer with fam than before. I’m not at all against paying for you guys to provide this service. 😋 Any service needs to make a profit and I’m in. Meanwhile, thanks millions for what you’re doing! It’s great! 🤠

    1. Hi Joey – Welcome, and we’re so glad Marco Polo is helping you stay in touch across the distance. Thank you so much for your support.

  36. Good for y’all. Seeing so many people being bitter over having to pay for a product is ridiculous. Y’all work hard and deserve to be paid for the excellent product you have put out.

  37. Love MP! I only joined during shelter in place and it’s really supported my connections to others. Change is hard. Ive been reading this thread hoping to better understand the weight/import of the photo and 2x features specifically, because to me they are not essential to the experience and reasonable to pull into the Pro model. I’m hoping to hear more about everyone’s experience of them being essential!
    As you think about changing with the times, would you point us to your information about DEAI and how, as you plan growth, how you are building equity into your work? I dont know a lot about your team or approach right now!

    1. Hi Stefanie – Thank you so much for your support! And, for your thoughtful questions. These are important topics that our company is focused on right now. Stay tuned for future updates to the Marco Polo community.

  38. i am annoyed with this new update because the writing and all other stuff was included with the older one and now i have to pay MORE ALL OVER again.. it’s not worth it

    1. Hi 🙈🙈 – Thanks for the feedback, from both sides. 🙂 We hope you give Plus a try, and if not, Marco Polo is and remains a free app, and you have a choice.

  39. Thank you for making such an awesome app. I had not used it (or heard of it) until the pandemic. Now I use Marco Polo daily as a simple, effective, and fun tool to communicate with my students. As a business owner and educator I applaud you for the choices you have thoughtfully made to make your business sustainable. The annual price is reasonable and I look forward to exploring the new features. I probably don’t need all of the bells and whistles, but I’ll subscribe to support your business.

    1. Hi Cynthia – We appreciate your feedback and your support, and we’re so happy you’re planning to be part of the Plus membership plan. Thank you, and have fun exploring and staying connected with your students and the people who matter most to you 🙂

    1. Hi Caroline – Thanks for the feature suggestions. One of the things users love about Marco Polo is that unlike other video apps or video conferencing services, you don’t have to be live. Instead, Marco Polo works when you have a moment to talk, even if your schedules don’t match. Regarding a video notes feature, Marco Polo Plus includes a Scratchpad feature for taking notes during Polos, as well as video reactions and live texting. Here’s more information: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  40. When I am a Premium user will parts of my messages be lost when sending to a Free user?
    Is your Premium price per person, per household, per IP address or per MP identity?
    When I send messages to myself as a group of one, do I have to pay double?
    I would like to see more info about the conflicts Premium and Free users.

    1. Hi, ED – Thanks for your questions. Sending/receiving Polos is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app, and your Polos will stay saved no matter which plan you use. A few other examples of how the Plus experience works with the free version are that Notes, Photo Polos, and custom emojis will be seen by all members in a chat, regardless of Plus status. Also, if a Plus user selects HD when sharing a Polo, an HD version of the Polo is saved to their camera roll and sent in higher quality, but not HD. The Marco Polo Plus membership plan is priced per account. Here’s a link to more detailed information about pricing: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  41. Would you consider a family price? It’s so expensive for a family of 5 to pay individually. I think this would be a great help for those on a limited budget (especially in the time we are facing now).

    1. Hi Gwen – Thanks for your question. We have many efforts underway to continually add to the Plus program, but at this time we do not have a family plan. We are passing along all suggestions to our product team.

  42. I use Marco Polo daily, infancy multiple times a day to keep up with distant friends.

    I do understand the need to charge but taking away features from the free app is just wrong.

    Those of us faithful followers should be grandfathered in. This is not the time in our economy to start charging. Your 38 engineers can design a plus app with great new features and charge but don’t take away features from the free app for profit. Make the new one so good that we migrate over. It’s just a very poor, greedy and uncaring decision to take away things we have been enjoying and make us lay in light of our economy. So many sites have been actually giving away their product in this time not charging. Look at all the sites that are doing free lessons, free tours and free classes.
    Shame on you to take away. Make a paid app that is wonderful but dont take away features of the free one.

    1. Hi April – Thanks for your feedback. As you saw in earlier posts, we wouldn’t be making these tough decisions if we didn’t think they were critical to ensuring Marco Polo is around for years to come. We recognize that some will be understandably upset that we’ve moved previously free, extra features into our paid plan. To ease the transition, we are giving existing users the chance to switch back to their old version of Marco Polo until August 1, 2020. Here’s how: https://bit.ly/SwitchBackToOldExperience

  43. We love Marco Polo! Thank you for leaving us a viable free option. I will strongly consider the paid option, as $60 a year is so reasonable! However, I know many people I talk with regularly wouldn’t pay, so I love that we can still do that. Also love that there will be no ads. You’re doing a great job.

    1. Hi Stephanie – Thank you so much for your thoughts, and for your support! We’re so glad. And yes, we’re committed to giving our community a choice. Sending and receiving Polos is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app, so you and your friends will be able to continue to stay in touch no matter which version you’re using.

  44. Hello! I am somewhat new to MP and have grown to love it. While I don’t need any of the features that you’re moving to the paid version, I may try it anyway. A colleague of mine has found MP a great resource for helping students stay connected visually when the classes switched to online only, giving them the chance to ask questions and have everyone hear the question and the answer. Any chance you will roll out a version specifically for educators, keeping it free for students?

    1. Hi Sandy – We’re so glad you’re thinking of giving Plus a try. At this time we don’t have a group plan, but we’re passing these ideas along to our product team. In the meantime, sending/receiving Polos is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app, so people can use the app to stay connected no matter which version they’re using.

  45. There are quite a few mixed emotions flying here on the thread. I’m torn as well. Your product is incredible. While battling cancer and being completely isolated during it and COVID I’ve struggled with depression. MP was my window and my portal to the outside world allowing me to cry with, laugh with, and love my friends and family. Thank you for that gift. I’m open to paying. Heck – I’m open to buying subs for my friends and family if they can’t afford it, but I will agree that it will end up being quite costly if we’re looking at $72/person / yr. Yikes! My initial investment would be close to $500 to keep my close circle able to chat. While I do hope you would consider a tiered approach – I’ll cheer you on to making your millions in revenue, because you’ve given millions of us the ability to connect. Much love!

    1. Hi Kori – Thank YOU for sharing your story with us, and for your support. We’re really glad that Marco Polo has been helpful during a time of such significant personal challenges. As far as pricing goes, the Marco Polo Plus membership is $9.99/month for the monthly plan or $5/month for the annual plan billed at $59.99 (prices listed in U.S. dollars). Perhaps more to your point, the free version remains an incredible way to keep in touch across time and distance, and no matter which version of Marco Polo you and your loved ones use, even if you’re using different ones, you’ll be able to stay in touch.

      1. I’m not sure you did enough market research or you did terrible market research, but the price for your service is 1) not worth $89.97/yr @ $9.99/mo or $60/yr @$59.99/yr. (hope my math is right, didn’t feel like pulling up a calculator. There is so much competition out there Marco Polo that I can’t see a business reason for this app to be so expensive. Facebook now has video chat free plus multiple other apps exist. Marco Polo is great but I could really just make a video and text it to a friend to get a video message to her or him free. This is equivalent to Marco Polo but you’ve added a few bells and whistles. However, neither your bells nor your whistles are loud enough to get excited about or charge that much. I will stay free and I am sure my friends will, too. Hey, good luck, but this is also the absolute worst time for anyone to add anything like this to their budget when times have been extremely hard, financially, mentally, and emotionally for most folks through this pandemic. Poor decision and poor timing almost feels like this equates to greed. You should make a profit from your business but you don’t have to rob people — especially coming out the door. Everybody thinks their product is FANTASTIC PEOPLE LOVE IT YES WE ARE IN THE MONEY but it isn’t always like that. Be careful. The objective is to make it something people value. I am sorry to say oI am team Marco Polo free version. Good Luck and sorry you couldn’t take everybody along with you to your “upgrade.” I do enjoy the app as is.

      2. Hi Jacqueline – We understand. We didn’t make any decisions lightly as we debated features to move to Plus, while still creating a great free experience. And at $.33/day for daily users (less with an annual membership), we think close relationships are worth that kind of investment. Plus is also completely optional. if the upgrade isn’t a fit, the free app includes unlimited chats & groups, voice effects & filters & emojis. You’re also welcome to switch back to your old experience until Aug 1, 2020. Here’s how: https://bit.ly/SwitchBackToOldExperience

  46. I think the premium option is a terrible idea for us, the user as well as you, the developer. This appears like you’re using COVID as a way to market and make money off it. Most of us are already hit economically by the virus and now you want to add this? I think you’ll lose users and anger a lot of long time users.

    1. Hi Tach – we understand. As you’ve seen in earlier replies, the decisions we made came from our commitment to being an ad-free business that serves our most avid users while also continuing to provide a great, free option to millions of people for decades to come. Thanks for your feedback.

  47. We love Marco Polo!!! Thank you for all you do! I wasn’t sure where to suggest this, so I will here! 🙂

    With the updates and more features coming, is it possible to add the video duration time at the bottom of the video?

    This would be extremely helpful! I currently judge the length of the video by how fast the white bar moves haha.. be awesome to have the actual time length of the video listed 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Stephanie – Thank you so much for your support and your suggestion 🙂 If you’re using Marco Polo Plus, just tap a video to pause it. You’ll see the full duration next to the speed control.

  48. MP has been very helpful in some stressful and emotional times in my past. I am willing to pay to help keep it ad free. But I think it’s a big jump. You might be scaring people away with this sudden change.. since many people need to cut back during these times
    although I think it Very fair that you are giving folks the option of keeping it for free with less options (2x speed). Did you consider to add a cost that more could afford and when people start going back to work have an increase in price again..

    1. Hi Bluma – We’re so glad that Marco Polo has been helpful to you. You’re right, this is a big change, and some are understandably upset. We’re accepting everyone’s feedback wholeheartedly, and we’re passing all pricing feedback to our product team.

  49. I am happy to pay for apps I love. I would pay twice if you could flash up a red “wrap it up” light when someone is talking for longer than five minutes 🤣 I currently have so many in watched polos bc friends see it as their opportunity for a 20 minute long monologue and I have no time to watch…3x speed is great but a gentle nudge for the long-winded would so be worth paying for 😉☺️

  50. I have MP to stay connected to my Kid when he’s with my ex. He sends a lot of really long videos of him playing video games or petting his cat. I need the 2x. $60 is a hit, but manageable. $120 to cover each of us is a different story. It’s just not value added enough and would impact other areas my finances. It’s hard to have something you like be taken away (I’m a pessimist so assume the free version looking different means it will be crappy intentionally to get people to upgrade). Similarly a 2 month free trial is not a benefit to consumers- it’s a way for companies to try to get people to want their product enough to pay for It. I don’t like the way companies manipulate people this way. You imply you are better than by not having ads or selling data then do this. Give me a $50 per year family plan and I’ll do it. Be up front about it- you are doing this to make a profit and the free trial is in the hopes we will pay you, not because giving me two more months is an amazing gift. $120 and deceit hurt. That’s my take as I look at being furloughed and worry about my kid when he’s not with me.

    1. Hi Diane – Thanks for your feedback. Our new free offering includes unlimited chats, unlimited groups, saved Polos, voice effects, camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. We remain invested in making sure the free experience is a great one.

  51. I’ve read the comments so I already know your reply. I understand your reasons. But this is a bad move. When other apps and platforms have been more generous in this season, this seems like unkind timing. I’m an evangelist for Marco Polo – I’ve used it almost every day and built strong friendships across the world with it. I tell others about it all the time! I’ve been like an ambassador for you! Here’s the thing – I can’t pay for endless apps each month – I can’t pay for more TV options and more software either. Some of us don’t have bottomless wallets. I’d miss the 2x button hugely. I hope there’s enough merit in a free version to keep using it. To be honest, I might just go back to WhatsApp video or voice messages. I love the format of MP and it’s been a lifesaver this year. But I don’t like then being taken advantage of by having features removed. I’m sure you feel you have to do what you have to do, but I’m not sure this was the route that benefits your users.

  52. I have read a lot of the comments regarding the cost. As a business owner, I know that asking someone to pay for something that was a lower price before is SUPER HARD but a necessity when thinking about growth and sustainability.

    With the being said, I am think about the people in our family who use it and having to pay multiple subscriptions in the household. The 2x feature is key for me as we are busy and sometimes talk distracted on MP. 2x lessens the lulls.
    What would you suggest for us instead of paying for 3-5 subscriptions?

    I saw previously you stated the Plus version allows you to share 6 temporary subscriptions (2 months free) to the plus feature.
    We you have teens or college aged kids keeping in touch… That doesn’t solve the issue. I understand the free version is available still… But it’s all about the 2x! Lol.
    What if you allowed a 1.5x feature on the free and keep the 1.5-3x on the plus?… It would still entice people to upgrade but would allow the option of faster communications.

    1. Hi Adrienne – Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, and we do understand – moving extra perks like 2x was a tough decision to help make our business a sustainable one. Thanks for the suggestion as well; we’re passing along all feedback and feature suggestions to the product team.

  53. It’s amazing to me how ungrateful people can be for a highly developed app that has cost them…*checks notes*…literally nothing.

    People don’t understand that other social media apps are free because the user is the product being sold to advertisers. That’s the key here. It’s not that Marco Polo is being greedy. It’s that they are playing an entirely different game! They refuse to play the typical game of selling customer data. Of course the app is not going to be free. How do people think you guys earn a living? I’m surprised you’ve waited this long to start charging.

    I understand the business model, and I applaud you for your commitment to user privacy. I haven’t decided if the app is worth $60/yr for me personally, but don’t feel bad about earning a living by selling a product/service that clearly adds value to people’s lives.

    My only request: please don’t EVER sell out to Facebook or some other company that is going to collect all our data and seek it to advertisers.

  54. I absolutely LOVE Marco Polo and I am so grateful for it as it has reconnected me with special friends from previous times in my life who I had started to drift away from due to geography and busy lives. I feel very passionate about the App and the ethos behind it but 9.99 a month is the wrong price point for me so I will have to stick to the free app – though I genuinely think I would be willing to make a donation even for the free app to support sustainability. I am concerned for you that the take up of Marco Polo Plus will not be enough to make it sustainable. I am surprised by this and I hope for the best and that people who feel passionate about the app as I do but CAN afford it – will support it. I am grateful that you are keeping the app free and 2x is not such a bad thing to lose – we’ll just have to learn not to ramble on as much or speak faster! Thanks for all you have done for me by creating this app!! Xx

  55. My husband and I use MP as a lifeline and are very saddened by your decision to take away features such as 2x. What I am even more saddened by is that I cannot fast forward a message I listened to most of the way but didn’t have time to finish. My friend just sent me a 15 minute long Marco a week ago, and I’m now having to re-listen to the whole thing just to hear the last couple of minutes… If you were going to take away some features, could you please not take away this feature at least (I can live without the 2x speed but not this one). I stopped voice texting with this friend because a similar issue is happening to me and I loved MP because I could watch it in spurts. I will be looking for another app if I’m not able to fast forward. Thank you for considering this!

    1. Hi Megan – We completely understand that the decision to move some extra features like 2x behind the paywall is upsetting to some. Our product team is seeing all the feedback that we receive here.

    1. Hi Amanda – We completely understand that some are upset by our decisions. As you might have seen in earlier replies, we need to balance the needs of our most avid users, be a sustainable ad-free business, and provide a great free offering to millions.

  56. I love this app and wouldn’t mind paying a monthly subscription, but why can’t loyal customers/user be offered a discount? Such as $3.99 or $4.99 a month and then new comers be charged the $9.99 a month or the $59.99 annually?

    Please consider giving us loyal users some kind incentive to stick with the app and upgrade to the premium version with an end date to sign up by. Why would you lump us in with new comers it doesn’t seem fair.

    1. Hi Jenn – We want everyone to have a great experience in choosing the membership plan. We do understand that some of these changes are upsetting to some, and we’re passing along all feedback about pricing to our product team. Thanks.

  57. As far as I have read, this doesn’t really affect me. I’ll be bummed no 2x, but other than that the ability to still chat via video to be seen at a later time is still very nice of you all to give us for free!

    I will consider upgrade, but for now I’ll be one of your free subscribers. Thanks for all the directions and info. It was very nicely laid out. I completely understand. Polly from Texas

    1. Hi Polly – Great to hear that you’ll keep using the free version of Marco Polo. We hope you continue to enjoy it, and if you decide to go with the optional upgrade, that’s wonderful too. Thanks for your feedback.

  58. I am disappointed at the pricing and taking away of features that have previously been free. It seems like a lack of innovation. I understand you need to be sustainable but I fear you might actually kill the app with this. I host a podcast and we use Marco Polo as a place where our community can interact with each other and it has been an incredible platform for communication. We are hoping that you’ll consider a lower price point and that you’ll update the app as it crashes often or has bugs. One of my biggest pet peeves with the app is the automatic private mode. Sometimes I like to listen to polos while working (with the phone in my pocket) but the private mode prevents this. You should add a button to turn private mode off. Also, Android users can use other apps while still using Marco Polo but Apple users can’t. That’s a big let down too. I would only be willing to pay maximum $2 a month for pro so I’ll be trying the free version until you all realize what a terrible mistake $9.99 a month is.

    1. Hi Chris – Thanks for this great input; it’s cool to hear how you’re using Marco Polo! We’ll pass along all the feedback on features and functionality to our product team. And just to clarify, the Plus membership plan is $9.99/month for the monthly plan or $5/month for the annual plan billed at $59.99 USD. Here’s more info: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

    2. $2 per month seems right for this. I would pay that. Anything more is out of the question.

      I’d only be paying to keep 2x. Everything else is noise.

      This offering was not well thought through by your execs. Either drop the price, or keep 2x on the free plan. Please.

  59. Hello, I think it would have been great to have received the voice of the customer. I read all the comments and responses, and the biggest concerns expressed were losing features that are already free and pricing for families. I agree that MP Plus should include enhanced features, leaving the already free features alone and a family price would be beneficial. It’s just me and it will not hurt my pocket to pay the annual fee, however, a few in my family and friends will not be able to afford to pay for every member in the home.

    1. Hi Charlotte – Thanks for summing up so thoughtfully, and as you’ve probably seen in earlier replies, we’re sharing this type of feedback with our product team. If you decide to go with a Plus membership, and others in your circle use the free version, you’ll still be able to stay in touch. Sending/receiving Polos is the same on both the free and Plus version of the app.

  60. Marco Polo is more than worth sixty bucks a year. My life is changed because of the app and it must stay around. Thanks to all 38 of you for what you do! One question: will the paid version allow you to listen to Polos with screen off or only record audio-only messages?

      1. Our family loves the app and we make frequent use of the emojis and video responses which will now be in the plus feature. Ten of us in the family so it means a total cost of nearly $600 annually If we wanted to keep using that feature. That won’t work for us so thanks for keeping a robust free version. Appreciate that very much!

      2. Hi Judy – Thank you so much – we’ll stay committed to offering a great free option. And we are hearing our users’ feedback about families and large groups, and passing that along to our product team.

  61. I personally think it’s a mistake what you are doing because your first loyal users should be grandfathered into the Plus and NEW users should be the ones to pay. You are ruining your app by suddenly requiring long time fans to pay in the time of a pandemic and the highest unemployment rates our country has seen. Can you imagine if Mark Zuckerberg suddenly decided to charge for membership to Facebook? What a disaster that would be.

    Just give us ads Like FB does rather than making your loyal users suddenly have to pay for the features they have grown accustomed to for years for FREE. I truly hope you’ll reconsider your decision to alienate your original users as this upgrade will do. Or at least give us the option to not be forced to update our app and leave it as is with all the features I already get for free.

    1. Hi, SLK – THanks for your feedback. Marco Polo is and remains a free app, and the Plus membership is completely optional.

      1. I agree that you should leave the 2x on the free version. I am older and have been isolated for months so I have fairly lengthy video chats with my family who are very busy. Without the 2x MP is useless to us and none of us will be paying to upgrade. We will just go somewhere else. Why can’t you just allow ads for the free version and keep 2x. Then charge for the upgraded versions. ?? What you are doing is going to make a lot of people angry and it won’t we sustainable for you either.

      2. Hi Becky – Thanks for your feedback. We know that users have come to love some of the features, like 2x, that are now part of the Plus membership. And as we’ve said in earlier comments, these were hard choices. But we’re committed to giving our community a choice between a subscription plan and a free version, and we refuse to sell ads, privacy, or user data to the highest bidder.

  62. This is so disappointing….that cost is way too much. We have loved Marco Polo….but I know my friends won’t pay that…..I have. Feeling you will lose a significant amount of customers. We have loved it till now though.!

    1. Hi Melissa – We understand, and as you might have seen in earlier comments, we’re balancing the needs of our most avid users with our commitment to providing an unlimited free option, without selling ads, privacy, or personal data. Thanks for your feedback.

  63. If you go back to the “old experience,” will free users still keep the 2x function? I can’t believe you’re taking that away from free users! Upgrades to the paid plan I get, but don’t take things away.

    1. Hi Tracy – We understand that this change is hard for some. You can switch back to your old experience until August 1, 2020, at which point everyone will be either on our new free version or members of Marco Polo Plus. Here’s a link to more information about what’s included in each version: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  64. Agree with OP and others I. This thread. I’ve gotten my ENTIRE FAMILY and extended family and numerous friends to use this. Taking away the basic features and making us pay for them now is just a strong arm tactic to generate revenue on “loyal” customers. However, I can promise we won’t be purchasing nor using this app anymore, which is very saddening considering how close this has brought us all. Put the extra features like filters and such behind the paywall, not our everyday staples.

    Lastly, I haven’t seen ONE NEW feature mentioned so the canned “we’re really excited for the new features in plus” seems like you’re telling me-your previously die-hard loyal fan, “we’re really excited to charge your money for things we previously gave you for free”. In my line of employment, when vendors do this, we walk from the contract, don’t renew, and find a new product vendor.

    The public and your fans are not dumb, don’t try and spin it like we are.

  65. It’s all fine and well to charge for your app or to create a “premium or plus” tier, but also offer up something new verses just charging for the same, or you explain to your users that there will be new features with the price that will be released at a later time. Sadly, it just sounds like you’ve got all these users now, so now you put the user between an app they like verses one they have to pay for now to keep if they want it the way they have been using it. Some will walk away as there other apps that could replace it while not exactly the same. But take for example Pandora…. when they began charging, they also offered up features the free app didn’t have, verses just charging you for the same. IDK. 🤷🏼‍♂️🤦🏼‍♂️ Either way, a bit disappointed

  66. This may have been addressed but there are far to manny comments to read through. Is there a family plan option going to be offered. Currently all members of my household use this app. Will the current issues be fixed before charging customers? Often videos black out or the sound is off, or the app crashes. I love the app and since it’s free I felt with these issues. If I become a paying customer, specially at that price m, I will be expecting the service to meet the cost.

    1. Hi Amanda – While at the moment we don’t have a family or group plan, we’re hearing our users’ feedback around this and sharing it with our product team. Regarding technical issues, whether you use the free version of Marco Polo Plus, our support team is standing by and ready to help, so please always feel free to reach out to them when you’re experiencing issues with the app. You can contact the team via the Settings menu (Help & About Us > Contact Us) or message them here: https://www.marcopolo.me/contact-us

  67. Yeah…no. This is messed up and I think it’s going to hurt your business. We already pay for Netflix and Hulu and Disneyplus and Photoshop and now Marco Polo?? Haha that’s a laugh. If creative cloud is $9.99 I wanna know how you’re even close to that. Sorry, but you’re living in a society of people that get Facebook for free, so we’re not used to paying. Someone else will come around with an app like this that will wipe you out if you start making people pay, especially for features they have already been enjoying.

    1. Hi Kellie – These are all valid points, thanks. As you may have seen in earlier replies, we’re very different from other social networking and video apps in that from the start, we’ve committed to never showing ads or collecting our user data to sell to advertisers. Also, to be clear, Marco Polo remains a free app, and Plus is a completely optional upgrade.

    1. Hi Ellie – If one of your friends shares Seconds with you, you should be able to then see and use Seconds on your app. If you run into any issues with this, please email our support team, contact@marcopolo.me, and they’d be happy to help you out.

  68. Growth is understandable. Unfortunately, this app has not really shown to do that. I have been using this app for a few years and while it is one of my favorite ways to communicate I in no way see how even in the current release justifying 60 dollars a year.
    Take the filters. They are terrible when compared to insta or snap. Even some standard filters on stock camera. Also, my friends and I have loved the voices feature but the same voices are still present.
    Also, I honestly think that putting a feature behind a pay wall that has always been available a slap in the face. You should be adding features not taking away. Like add virtual backgrounds, I dunno.
    Lastly the cost. I might pay like $20 a year. But $60 again just seems like complete disrespect. Especially when “Hey guys, you can now pay $60 a year for almost all the same features that you use to get for free.”
    I’m not sure I even want to associate with a company that has such poor business ethics.

    1. Hi Jason – Sorry to hear you feel that way. Plus is a completely optional upgrade, and our free version provides an unlimited opportunity to stay in touch with no ads and no selling of our users’ privacy or personal data. As far as your feature feedback goes, we are sharing all comments with our product team. Thanks.

  69. Your staff deserves to get, I dunno, paid a living wage so they can feed themselves and their family?

    I’ve always been baffled at such a great and reliable service could be free. I literally looked to see if I could find a paid version in the App Store. So, I’m very glad to see you’re moving to a sustainable business model.

    But $5 or $10 a month is too high. I do a lot of Patreons and spend $2 or $3 a month on each. That’s worth it. I love Marco Polo, and I often use the 2x feature. But that’s not enough to justify the cost. $1 a month or even $2 would be good. Or a paid “pro” app. Maybe $5. Maybe a one-month in-app purchase for when you need the “pro” features. But it would still have to be less than $5.

    I know any subscription-based product is the best. It helps with a predictable income stream and a gentle landing if things go south. I hope it works for you.

    PS The angry children threatening to leave a free service crack me up.

    1. Hi Em – Thanks for your perspective 🙂 and for your feedback on pricing options. Yes. We completely understand that the subscription isn’t going to be for everyone, which is why we’re continuing to provide an unlimited free version too. If you decide you’re interested in learning more about what’s included in the Plus membership, and where the value is coming from, here’s a link to more info: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

      1. Hi Ron – Thanks for your comments. We didn’t make any decisions lightly as we debated features to move to Plus, while still creating a great free experience. And at $.33/day for daily users (even less with an annual membership), we think close relationships are worth that kind of investment.

    2. Yep I agree, if I compare the price to that of other subscriptions, say Netflix, the value isn’t justifiable. I think what would have been smarter would be to add rather than take away: i.e. adverts, prompts, new filters&features are for paid users. Agree that a freemium model is more sustainable and that’s a good thing.

      This is a very long and rambling post for what really would have benefitted from a concise, and more transparent message (no pricing, people don’t read pages of text)

  70. This is unfortunate.My 70 year old parents use this app to watch their grandkids grow up from thousands of miles away.It would be extra money for them they don’t have.We will just use another app.

    1. Hi Tanya – Thanks for your feedback. We want to make sure you know that Plus is a completely optional upgrade, and that we’ll continue to invest in providing a great, free experience.

    2. lol they can still use MP for free!! What is the confusion here? Why does everyone think you have to pay to keep using MP?? The upgrade plan is completely OPTIONAL!! Your 70yr old grandparents can continue to watch their grandkids grow up from miles away using MP and they can continue to use it for FREE!

      1. Hi Shannon – Correct! Thanks for adding your voice to the conversation 🙂

  71. Will the paid version have the ability to save all my Polos to my phone without me having to individually click to save each one? It’s pretty time consuming otherwise. That’s something I’m willing to pay for to preserve memories.

    1. Hi Morgan – Thanks for the feedback. A bulk saving feature isn’t currently part of Plus, but we’ve shared your suggestion with our product team.

      1. People…it’s still free. Relax. Wtf.

        Lindsay…they should have led with “It’s free. It will stay free. Free is wonderful.” And then added features for subscription. Whenever you launch appealing to the freeloaders of the app world, you need to accept what comes with that strategy. Work with it not against it. You may have 38 engineers to create it, but nobody will understand why you still need 38 engineers unless they’re doing something interesting re: new features. Get people excited not bummed out.

  72. Sounds good to me! I really appreciate the fact that it has cost me nothing to keep in touch with my family and friends over the last few months. My daughter and I love being able to just “Polo” back and forth, the relatives love getting to hear her toddler chatter.

    Compared to what a long distance call used to cost just thirty years ago, $60 a year isn’t much. I’m amazed that y’all have been able to provide free video service without ads for this long and appreciate the heads up on this change! 😊

    1. Hi RT – Thanks for your feedback and support. We’re so glad Marco Polo is helping you stay in touch with family and friends.

  73. Reading some of these comments are ridiculous! Everybody wants a free ride but has no clue about running a business. Everyone wants something for free, heck so do I. But six dollars a month is too much for you to pay for an awesome service? Give me a break!

    1. Hi Jared – Thanks for your feedback and support – we’re so glad the app is providing you an awesome service 🙂

  74. I wish that instead of charging an annual fee, there was an option to purchase videos of our Marco polos. Kinda of like Chatbooks but in video form. I would love to do something like that. I find myself Marco Polo “ing” instead of videoing. Some of the Marcos are priceless and I rarely remember to download them.

  75. This has rolled out to a couple of my family members already. We have discussed that we understand being sustainable as a business. But that price point is much too high for what we are getting. I pay $9.99/mo for photoshop! I would gladly pay $10/yr but even the $60/yr option is much too steep! I have enjoyed the app and encouraged a lot of people to download it but I can guarantee we will use it less and less without at least 2x speed. My family has already used it much less since this decision was announced to them. As others have said, make new exciting features part of paid or at MAX .99/mo.

    1. Hi Lindsay – Thanks for the feedback, and we do understand that some users are upset that historically free perks, like 2x, will now only be available with Plus. We also understand that a paid membership isn’t going to work for everyone, which is why it’s optional. As far as features go, new and exciting features are included with Plus. You’ll find a full listing here: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  76. thats not good for the DEAF community!! we rely heavily on a video for Communications!!! we rely on video than texting – u are thinking of big profits and make money for urselves! shame on u!

    1. Hi Donna – Marco Polo Plus is a completely optional upgrade. As you’ve likely seen in earlier replies, we made these business decisions for the sake of sustainability, to help ensure that we serve our most avid users while also providing a free option for millions, for decades to come. Marco Polo is and remains a free app with unlimited chats, unlimited groups, and an unlimited and free opportunity to stay in touch. If you have specific feature requests, we welcome them and will pass them along to our product team.

  77. The current video quality is atrocious! I would pay for a product with high quality video and audio, but $60/yr for a few small features is crazy.

  78. So many whiners who apparently don’t want to see people who’ve busted their asses creating this product to be adequately paid and have job security.

    How many people complaining here waste $5/month on far less useful stuff?

    I’ll place my money that 99.7% do.

    That’s on top of the fact that for free users the app is going to work mostly as it has.

    I love paying for services and products I use and value. I love supporting other people who make great things.

    I’d love to see more people understand and value the time and energy it takes to create products like this.

    1. Hi Robert – Thanks for your feedback, your perspective, and your support of Marco Polo – we’re glad you’re finding such value in the app.

  79. I don’t use the app every day. I do, however, use it frequently. I use it to stay in close contact with friends across town, in many parts of the USA but more importantly, just stay in close contact with my friends in the far east… China, Japan and Korea. It’s been a lifesaver of a app. But most Americans are used to “free.” It seems like every application out there… Games, business tools, developers tools, social networking, even the light and rulers applications… Have ads and they are very annoying. I read many of the comments and had to laugh at the people who are annoyed and have to use such foul verbiage and talking to millions of other people about their frustrations of why this can’t continue to be “free.“ Who pays to develop this? Who allows us to send stuff all over the world for free, without ads, without someone selling our personal data? Those people can leave and get 100x more annoyed with ads! $60 a year for the premium app is a lot of money. But if you had another tier, at $30 a year ($29.99) without all those fancy features, just to have an app that has no ads or they’re not selling your personal data I would gladly pay period because nothing is free. Everything comes with a cost. The fact that you are not annoyed and bombarded with ads to sell you something is worth at least $29.99 a year! Think about that.

    Anyways, I just wanted to let you know how great your app is. Some people are not gonna understand and will get upset but they’re going to quickly realize what a great bargain they have. I would bet there are at least 1 million people out there who would be willing to pay what I just proposed. But during this pandemic very few people have money like they used to so I get that you want to keep it free. I wouldn’t mind paying mid-level rate if I knew it was helping other people who can’t afford anything.

    1. Hi Jerry – We completely understand that some folks are upset – change is hard. Thank you so much for your comments as well as your feedback on pricing, which we’ll share with our product team.

  80. Noooooooo I don’t like that you guys are changing the free app. (It is not very smart) but I will NOT pay that much money for the plus, sorry. I LOVE Marco Polo. I get to talk to my family far away and my best friends All the time! I hate to see that you guys are changing it up a bit. But I kinda understand because you ARE a business. So I will keep doing the old version as long as I can. I wish you guys the best of luck with Marco Polo and hope you succeed. (I also hope you put Polo Photos and the 2x back in place)

    1. Hi Julian – We do understand that this is a big change, and we appreciate your feedback, along with your wish for luck 🙂 Thanks.

  81. You have sparked quite the conversation! I do have to agree with most comments. While the app has been wonderful and practical, I will not pay that much for it. We do understand that you have to get paid somehow, but the price you are asking is unreasonable without a doubt. WhatsApp charges a dollar per year, and you a can also send videos. Google duo and hangouts also lets you share videos for free. Most people would be willing to pay for an outstanding product, and to support an app like this, but you are going at this the wrong way by making us feel like you are taking something from the customer rather than “upgrading.” I really hope that you reconsider this tactic, fire your PR person, or just resign to lose thousands of customers. This is not the right time or way of doing this considering the times we are going through. I think you’ll crash and burn. Good luck though!

  82. No!!! 2x feature should NOT be a Plus. Dear community using American Sign Language depends on 100 percent face to face communication and 2x helps us speed through our conversations. Do not penalize the Deaf community! This is grossly unequal in terms of accessibility and imposing financial burden on a marginalized group.

    1. Hi Marvin – We’re making sure our product team sees your feedback. And although 2x will be behind the Marco Polo Plus paywall, what’s not changing is that the free version will continue to provide unlimited face-to-face communication.

  83. I love Marco Polo especially when I travel as I don’t need to worry about time zone. As a supportive customer I do want to voice my opinion on the removing features that are currently free.
    Businesses never ‘take stuff away’ it’s just bad customer service.
    Do the upgraded features as other customers have suggested for the upgrade but leave all free content free and add advertising. Most people realize businesses need to pay for free service so do it with adds.
    If you don’t like the adds then upgrade similar to Pandora.

    1. Hi Angella – Thank you so much for this feedback and for being such a supportive user. As you might have seen in previous replies, we’re very different from many other apps and social networks in that we won’t show ads or sell your privacy or personal data.

  84. Losing 2x speed on the free version was the wrong choice. You might think it’s a good decision, but I think you will see other apps come out that can do the same thing with the 2x and they will still be free. I am betting you will lose a lot of customers over the double speed.

  85. I really want to be able to have an account without having to use a phone number. I have to share an account and it is not that fun. Thanks for listening 😊

    1. Hi Stacey – You are correct, you need a phone number to use Marco Polo. The app is and remains free if you change your mind.

  86. I don’t mind terribly paying $5/month if this is what the company authentically feels they need to do to be sustainable. But my main use of Marco Polo is to stay in touch with my college friends and we are at varying economic levels. It will be weird if some of us have the paid version and some have the free one. Created economic inequality visibility and tension. I suppose the only solution is just stay free.

    1. Hi Lishka – The free version remains a great option. But just to clarify, even though Plus comes with extra features, sending and receiving Polos is the same for both versions of the app. So if some use Plus and others use the free version, you’ll all still be able to stay in touch. Also, Notes, Photo Polos, and custom emojis will be seen by all members in a chat, regardless of Plus status.

  87. Are you kidding me?? I’ve been using this app for a few years now and it’s fantastic. How are you going to screw over loyal users by taking away features we already use in the free version? You ADD new features (better quality video, more options, closed captioning, faster than 2X speeds, timer to tel you how long each video is on the tiles, etc) to the pay-wall version and allow for us to choose the upgrade. I’m extremely disappointed in this move. The price point is not worth it to me honestly.

  88. Hello,

    I’ve only recently started using your product as it’s tough to latch on to *another* social app and convince others to switch. I’ve been wary to use it actually because of the fact that you say you hold on to all the footage captured forever. It would be more cost effective if you advertised for the free tier that you would _not_ be saving the footage (would lower operating costs to store data and retrieve transactions). At least make it a feature to auto delete after a certain amount of time with a prompt to archive download or other. As someone who is cognizant of security online, I would also like to hear that there is investment in encryption in transit and at rest for the communication in the app. Just because you plan to not sell our data does not mean online entities won’t try to take it.

    If I were to see that kind security focused features advertised, I would most definitely pay at the rate you are asking because nothing is ever truly free when it comes to operating costs and it would set your product apart. My suggestions/concerns may be minority compared to what your metrics may say but after being inundated with social networks for the past 10 years… I really want to work with a honest to goodness communication product. Maybe it’s because I feel a little bit burned out (my family used Path and it was awesome, I actually did the subscription but in the end they fizzled out). It also doesn’t help to see “Android coming soon” messages either when your timeline is saying Aug 1. What does that mean for Android users? It’s imperative that any communication app that exists today needs to be able to support both platforms steadily and timely between updates, or it can really funk things up for your customers.

    My last suggestion would be to quickly advertise the new features coming with Plus if you want to ease the transition from free to paying customers. Just saying “change is hard” while trying to advertise combating loneliness and only announcing previously free features as paywalled appears insincere and probably why you anticipated some backlash. You state you’ve been working this a year, so you must already have a roadmap or some new feature to be able to implement and advertise by August. Right now you have an easy to use UI over your competitors. Hopefully, the new look keeps that going.

    My comments may be fairly critical but if your intentions are true, I’d rather see a product like this succeed and I’d be happy to convince more people to switch over and sign up for plus. I look forward to see what comes in the next few months. Thanks.

    1. Hi Sunami – Thanks for the suggestions and feedback! This is all great food for thought, and we’re making it all available to our product team.

  89. Hmmm. Given that I use this site every day, and sold my whole family on it as the primary way to talk, it is really disappointing that you would take functionality away from the free one. I have a feeling this will lead to many people defecting. Fine to have a pay level. The cost is insane though. For an app?! Not even an app. For an “upgrade that gives you more than you already have.” Like a little more zoom. Guys, seriously, this is a really poor business decision. At first, I thought, hmmmm… if there is something really cool coming and it isn’t much, I’ll consider it. Then I saw, that basically no really amazing innovation happens and I am going to lose some. There went that idea. Is it a good business decision to skip out on money you could have gotten were it reasonable and worth it? To keep viable, you will actually have to get people to sign up. Guessing it is going to be lower than your projections. Someone’s in business is going to get fired. Oh well, I’ll keep the free.

  90. I hope this hasn’t been asked or talked about before, if so, I’m sorry. I would love for my elderly (90 yr old) to be able to use Marco since it is so easy to use but….. she doesn’t have a smart phone and can barely use her tablet (Amazon Fire) Will a free version be available for her? Thanks!
    PS – I’ve been using Marco Polo for over a year and I LOVE it. Absolutely no problems at all.

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I appreciate the transparency, and all that you’re doing to help stay afloat. Times are tough, and the pivots you’re making are completely sensible. Keep up the hard work!

  91. I HATE the “its only this Amount per month” then the whole 12 months charged up front. If you want people to feel like the upgrade is “affordable” then allow them to pay in monthly installments. (That’s just good retail marketing strategy)

  92. Is there a comparison chart to show all the differences between the old version we can select before August 1, the new free version, and the plus paid version?

  93. Hi there! You’re making great business choices. Very wise! Thank you for working hard, coming to agreements, and doing all you can to keep Marco Polo sustainable. We love Marco Polo!

  94. I agree with many people who are saying existing options should not be removed. I think keeping the 2x and text option should remain on free and then add the other options to the paid. I have often wanted a 3x option and more emojies so I’m excited about that! I would prefer a little less a year but you all work hard and for the most part this has been a wonderful app. It has changed the way my family stays in touch and made it so much better!

    My question is this…if I move to the paid option and my family stays on free, how is that going to impact the way we communicate? I’ll have the option to send text Polos for example but they won’t. So will they still be able to receive the text Polo? Or will I only be able to use those features with other paid members?

    1. Hi Rachelle – Thanks for your thoughtful feedback, your support, and your great question. To start with, sending and receiving Polos is the same for Plus and the free version of the app. And even though users of the free version can’t *send* text Notes, Photo Polos, or custom emojis, all recipients will be able to see these, no matter which version they’re using.

  95. $5/month is too much. I think if you made the price lower, you’d get more people to switch over. It seems like every company is trying to change over to a subscription model and suck away my income a few dollars a month at a time. Taking away double speed for free users is a low blow. But you guys know that. I’m sure you’ve been tracking all of your usage data and you know what features people can’t live without. I guess I’ll just be using Marco Polo less frequently now.

    1. Hi Natalie – Thanks for your feedback. As you might have seen in earlier replies, we’re providing options. The core of what people love about Marco Polo – unlimited chats & groups – remains free. And for daily users, the option to upgrade is $.33/day (even less with annual membership) to stay in touch with those who matter most in their lives.

  96. Honestly, the only feature I would pay for is a completely private option. One that doesn’t tell when you’ve been online if you are trying to take your time responding to certain conversations. I really wouldn’t pay for anything else.

  97. Will there be an option to share the premium version within a family? We have 5 people using this regularly and don’t want to pay $300/year.

    1. Hi Jason – Right now, we don’t have a family/group plan for Marco Polo Plus, but we are hearing this request from users and passing the feedback on to our product team.

  98. I think something to consider would be a lifetime access upgrade. I would much rather save up to just buy lifetime access to marco polo plus than add yet another monthly or yearly cost to my already tight budget. I understand why you are creating a plus version, but more people would consider a one time payment that is a little higher over a monthly or yearly payment that has to be budgeted for continuously.

    1. I just want to say that I love and have used this app for a very long time.
      However I’m disappointed by the prohibitive pricing. I feel there would be a way to make this sustainable without the unrealistic cost.
      In light of the many many many unhappy comments you’ve received above, won’t you reconsider your business model? Maybe make a lower cost available to more people?

      1. Hi Mel – Thanks for your pricing feedback. As you might have seen in earlier replies, the Plus membership is completely optional. Our free version, which is available to all users, will continue to provide unlimited ability to chat, unlimited contacts, and unlimited groups.

  99. Oh my goodness. I’m very sorry to hear of all the changes. I use this app with our children and grandchildren . Friends we served with who are stationed all over this country. Sometimes you
    Can’t answer right away but the call is still there. Sadly we will not stay with Marco Polo but , just as you Have come up with new app I’m sure there are many others to start testing out. Just so sad that we weren’t really ask any questions on how us the customers would feel about these changes. You know the customers that made you who you are today? Oh well it’s been real.

    1. Hi Cherri – Plus is an optional membership plan – no obligation to upgrade. The free version of Marco Polo remains an incredible way to keep in touch, with unlimited chats and groups.

      1. Actually it is no longer “incredible” as you put it. It’s actually now horrible and very basic may as well go back to our group texts.

  100. Wow. Now that you’ve got millions of new users hooked on the app during a pandemic you’re going to TAKE AWAY the features we’ve been using for years and then make us pay for them?? What a lovely way to thank your loyal users who helped you grow this app. This is a gross display of capitalism. I will not be paying $60 to continue using the app as I have been for the past two years. Nice knowing you, thanks for the memories. What an incredibly poor decision. There are SO MANY other ways in which you could have created a premium level membership for a monthly fee, but taking away features that have always been available is straight up wrong.

    1. Well, the great thing about Capitalism is, you can find another app and I’m sure someone else will capitalize on this mistake MP has decided to do.

  101. This new update is awful!! It makes it impossible to follow a conversation if you’re not there live – basically the only thing that sets Marco Polo apart. Bring back 2X!! So sad that I’ll have to ditch this app otherwise

  102. This is ridiculous. You’ve taken away everything except the video option and left the crappy filters. This app was my family’s saving grace during these hard times and you’ve officially turned It to crap because no one I know is paying your ridiculous pricing.

  103. I understand that you want to monetize the app, but I won’t be paying $10/month. I can live without the 2X and many of the other features, so I’ll stick with free as long as there are no ads. The first time I see an advertisement is the last time I use the app.

    1. Hi Johnny – we’re so glad you’ll be sticking with the new free version – thank you! Regarding ads, we hear you, and you’ve seen our replies to these threads. We will never show ads in Marco Polo.

    2. There Are Pop-Up Ads! As soon as you bring up the MP app you get a ad wanting you to upgrade to the premium version. So, their statement about no ads isn’t factual.

      1. Hi Barry – Some of the Plus offerings will appear in your free app as we launch our sustainable business model, a commitment to not selling your data or showing paid ads, as many other social networks do.

  104. To charge for a service that has always been free, to selfishly capitalize on a worldwide pandemic through incredibly inflated pricing- this is tacky and disgusting. I understand that there has been an influx of new users and that demand may have gone up unexpectedly, but the WAY your company is going about it is extremely unethical and distasteful. Marco Polo has value, it provides a niche need in an unfortunate situation. People need and want what you are offering. Loyal users offered rave reviews based on a FREE service. I’m afraid that this stunt will end up costing MP way more in the long run. You guys could have done this very differently and still profited enormously.

    1. Hi Heather – Since 2014, Marco Polo has provided a free way for you to connect. That’s not changing. What is changing is that we’re launching a paid membership plan, Marco Polo Plus, and with that, our free version will look different. Know that Plus is a completely optional upgrade, and that we’ll continue to invest in making our free experience a great one.

  105. Typical tech company vultures. You just can’t be happy charging an honest one time price for a product can you? Why do you feel that you deserve to be paid forever for a product to the tune of users buying your product dozens of times over in perpetuity. This greed based business model is emblematic of the business practices driving the income inequality issues that are plaguing and pissing off most of the world right now. What the world really needs now is for us to pay you every month forever so that the world can have one more billionaire giving us nothing for something monthly ad infinitum.

  106. I understand the need to be profitable without being greedy.

    Which would be more profitable? One person paying $60 a year 5 people paying $12 a year? I think you would have more than 5 willing to pay $12 and be able to sustain your business than you would for the one to pay $60.

    I would pay $12, but $60 is too much for me.

    1. Hi Bill – We hear your feedback on pricing, and we appreciate everyone’s ideas. The way we look at it is that for daily users, the option to upgrade is just $.33/day (even less with annual membership) and adds a lot of value. For others who don’t see the optional upgrade as a good fit, we still have the free version with unlimited chats and groups.

  107. Hi,
    I tried reading through the other posts to answer my question, but I could not find it.

    If I stay on the free version, will I loses any of my old polos? I have some of some of my loved ones who have passed away and I don’t want to lose them. Since both my husband and I use the app that double for one household too. I really don’t want to lose those videos.

    Good luck with your new adventure!

    1. Hi Laurie – Thank you so much, and great question. You will not lose your Polos if you use the free version. Chats, groups, and saved Polos remain unlimited and free.

  108. I am not really liking Marco Polo plus, before it, I could send a note (like when I’m driving, or not on the internet) or, something I would always do is put it on two times speed so I could listen to The Whole thing in a time consuming way. But since you put the plus on it and took away half the stuff instead of adding more stuff, I am frustrated.

    1. Hi Katy – Thanks for your comment. We understand that moving certain features to Plus has been upsetting to some folks. As you might have seen in earlier replies, our team has worked hard to establish a balance between serving our most avid users while continuing to provide a great free offering. That came with some tough choices, but ones that are important to being a sustainable business and serving our user community for decades to come.

  109. I use Marco Polo every day to talk to friends and family across the globe! I’m happy to pay for this app and have been very impressed with the feedback and immediate responses I received when testing out the new plus membership. Great job folks!! This is a great product!!

    1. Hi Christie – We’re so happy the app is helping you stay connected with your people 🙂 Thanks for your feedback and support!

  110. So the free version is the same as texting videos now—(I mean on August 1st—I totally understand I can go back until then, and I have, that is not the answer to my feedback…)—NO ONE NEEDS AN APP FOR THAT. Probably shouldn’t get rid of the basic parts that actually make Marco Polo a thing—2x. Even texted videos let you scrub…
    There are plenty of enhancements you can, and have, done to build your business on financially and can and will continue to develop for Plus. But without the basic conveniences there is no app, we go back to texting videos…

  111. It’s super frustrating to be a faithful user of this app for years and now you are charging and removing basic features like 2x. If you want to add bells and whistles and then charge that’s one thing. But don’t take away the basic functions that have been free for years. Terrible customer service!

  112. This app is beautiful and has helped me through Co-vid in ways I cannot explain. It’s incredibly disappointing that the founders expect customers to pay $60 a year for two features that are fundamental to what makes the app special. A subscription to Marco Polo should cost $3-5 a month. C’mon guys, decent pricing isn’t that hard. I understand you’re a growing business but make your product accessible to the masses. Hope you guys understand this message comes with good intentions and hopes for only good things to come.

    1. Hi Joe – Thanks for the kind words about the app, and we’re glad it’s helped you stay connected during Covid. Just to clarify, Marco Polo Plus comes with many new features that add a lot of value for people who use the app everyday, and it’s a completely optional upgrade, with a free version still available to all. Here are feature and pricing details. https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/

  113. Very disappointed to see MP upset its loyal customers. It was a fun App but not worth $60 a year. I brought dozens of folks to MP but now will look to another less expensive App. Why not make the free version with ads and the plus without ads like many others do?

    1. Hi Bob – As you might have seen in earlier replies, that’s an important differentiator between Marco Polo and other social networking and video apps. We don’t show ads, and we will never sell our users’ privacy or personal data. That’s why providing an optional subscription plan, along with continuing to provide a unique, reliable, and free app, is the right business model for us so that we can continue to serve.

  114. First off THANK YOU for creating MP. I have gotten so many friends and family members to use it. I am glad to pay a fee to use it. It brings so much joy and I want it to stay around forever. However $60 a year seems steep. Also does my wife need to pay $60/yr? My 4 kids? This isn’t very affordable. I would think $10 or $20 a year makes more sense. $60 a year isn’t worth it for me to have 2x speed. I think the vast majority of people will opt for the free version, but if he paid version were cheaper then the vast majority of people might choose that. I would gladly pay up to $25 a year to keep MP sustainable and keep the great features. From a business standpoint I think MP would rather have the $25 than $0. I think that price point might bring in greater overall profitability.

    1. Hi Race – We’re so glad you’re enjoying the app, and thank you 🙂 To answer a couple of your points, the app is still free, and the Plus membership is optional. The membership does come with many new features that provide a lot of extra value to our avid daily users. Those are listed here if you’re curious: https://www.marcopolo.me/plus/ And, we are hearing users’ interest in a family/group plan and are sharing that feedback with our product team. Thanks again!

  115. This is very disheartening. I would pay a one time fee or maybe even $15 a year, but this price is too high. I could handle the no sharing photos but The 2x feature and the notes feature is used heavily with my family. It was annoying enough when you disabled writing notes while listening to a video but now not being able to. I will be on the hunt for a new app. This app has brought myself and my extended family together and it’s sad we will he finding a new app home. Thank you for the last couple years, and good luck.

  116. Very disappointing! I won’t be using the app anymore. This comes from a place of greed and exploitation. $10 a month is an insane amount for ANY app. There’s so many better ways you could have done this but I don’t have the time or desire. Obviously none of your team is skilled at marketing or PR. I guarantee you that you would have plenty of money if you offered packages to corporations, and that would cover the cost. But I’m willing to bet that you saw companies like Zoom and Voxer explode with their (reasonable) prices and thought “we want a piece of that pie!) but unlike them, you did it the wrong way and now you’re going to alienate most of your users. I know for a fact I can’t afford this cost and neither can my friends and family. So we will he switching to the Voxer app and zoom calls because they’ve got things figured out. It’s disappointing to see this kind of greed from a small company. I’m sure there will be another app who does what MP does without exploiting their users… and then your “sustainable model” will have sent you to the grave.

  117. Sorry. No to this change. 6 family members 360 per year. Not worth it and very cheap of a company that would give you the crack for free then charge you later. Maybe you should be selling on the school play grounds. Maybe that’s what you did previously.

  118. Lindsay, I’m not a business woman. So I don’t know what costs you have to cover. It’s confusing to know we are losing the 2X. I don’t hear any real explanation fromyou on that, just a repeated mantra that could mean SO many things. No I don’t feel heard. But the fact is, this is not a ministry, it’s business. Bottom line? Money. So if you have to charge these impossible prices for these new changes then the ball is in my 60 member family whether or not to pay. For me it’s a no brained. I don’t pay $60 for any app, only for medical bills. Cant afford such luxuries. So I’ll have to find a way to let the long ones run without 2X! But I do love this app and have had it for years now. I’d hate to give it up so I’ll take whatever the free app allows! Barring my whole group up and leaving, I’ll be staying on for the free app and watching for the outcome of your changes. The goal of no ads AND no selling of my privacy is unique and appreciated. Thank you

    1. Hi Wendy – We completely understand, and we’re so glad you’re planning to stick with the free version! Thanks for your support and your honest feedback.

  119. Very disappointing. Not affordable as a paid product, and now the free version is too frustrating to use. This product has Now lost its value entirely. I suppose it was nice while it lasted. Thanks for the good times, Marco Polo.

  120. This used to be where we had all our group chats…family, old college friends, my mom group, my hubs and I could do a quick touch base during errands…but unfortunately these new changes and this new price point has already had the groups start looking at going back to other apps. Congratulations on ruining such a good thing.

    1. Hi Denae – Just to clarify, the new free version still offers unlimited chats and groups for staying in touch, along with voice effects, camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. But we do understand, and appreciate your feedback.

  121. I hate this change. I feel like you are taking advantage of the pandemic to suddenly charge for this app. I use Marco Polo daily but will now be finding something different. Ridiculous timing when millions of people are unemployed. I hate that you found a way to profit from the global situation we are in.

    1. We hear your feedback, Laura. Thanks for taking the time to post. As you might have seen in earlier replies, we’ve in fact been working on Plus for over a year, debating, iterating, testing, and determining best balance between how to serve our most frequent users, be a sustainable business, and provide a great free offering without selling ads or selling user data. Marco Polo is and remains a free app. It continues to provide unlimited chats, groups, and contacts, along with voice effects, camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. The Plus membership is completely optional.

    2. My goodness, this seems like a LOT of money to pay for an app. I was planning on paying for the new service because I expected new features and a much lower price point, and the family members I’ve converted into Marco Polo lovers were planning to switch to the paid version as well. But NONE of us expected this price point! There’s no way I could justify spending this kind of money at this time in our economic/medical history on an app that has many problems for me currently. Marco Polo video quality is low, sound quality is low, the microphones frequently switch from front to back mics giving that “wind tunnel” effect others have mentioned, and often videos just won’t load. I also have issues daily with how Marco Polo interacts with my car’s UConnect… I can’t play Marco Polo videos via Bluetooth because the sound doesn’t play and I can’t charge my phone in the car while listening to Marco Polo. We have had three different cars with UConnect that all have trouble interfacing with Marco Polo, and even the new one I purchased in March has these same issues with only the Marco Polo app. No other apps have these difficulties with UConnect, but I happily accept them because Marco Polo is great for what it is – a free app. I don’t expect perfection from a free app. But having to pay $60/year or $120 at $10/month to deal with these issues and to have access to the same features previously included for free? It doesn’t sound like something I’ll be doing, but that means if I stick to the free version, I’ll lose a lot of service/features that hooked me on the product and got me to promote it to others, which is a shame. And my daughter uses the app to keep up with her grandparents, but there’s no way we can afford twice the price. This just seems exorbitant, and the replies here seem like they’re just repetitively placating folks and are almost patronizing. I’m surprised.

      1. Hi Katie – Thanks for your feedback on pricing. And regardless of which version you use, we want to try to help you with those connectivity issues. If you email contact@marcopolo.me and describe the issue, our support team would be happy to help troubleshoot.

  122. I might be unusual, but my extended family loves Marco Polo, and as I’ve done pretty well, I would pay more to invite additional accounts to all be premium IF you can increase the video quality. The resolution should be the number 1 feature for paid! I think I would pay $30/year per user with 10 minimum in my group, so like $300/year. Then $30 extra per user. I would love gifting them all the premium account. Also let’s get you on PinwheelOS for kids 🙂

  123. How about just charge new users to use the app? And a one time only fee when you download. Y’all are tripping if you think people are going to pay this.

  124. I am absolutely shocked that people are so pissed about a 60$ annual fee … really? Good gracious… I LOVE the app works great for me and my family and is COMPLETELY WORTH IT. I have a HUGE group of Deaf users and they LOVE this app because it’s a visual way for them to stay in touch and save their conversations … being able to sign and communicate with those relying on sign language as their major mode of communication makes this app so invaluable to that community of users. Thank you all for creating this app and working to improve it!
    Respectfully,
    Charlotte Bell

    1. Hi Charlotte – We completely understand the feedback, and we also know a paid membership program isn’t going to be for everyone, which is why we’re committed to still offering a great free option that provides unlimited ways to stay in touch. For folks like you who are interested in the optional Plus membership plan, awesome – we’re so glad, and we’re grateful for your support!

  125. Thank you for inventing MP. My family has used and enjoyed MP for about two years, and I’ve been amazed that we could have a nice way to communicate for free, without ads. Sincere people can have different opinions about what you should have done, but I don’t feel any animosity towards you for the decision. Free apps are not up there with life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness as inalienable rights. If it takes 38 people to develop and support the app, plus servers to host the chats, that’s a small business that needs income to survive. I have no idea how you covered your costs up till now (with no fees and no ads), and don’t know how the charges for the premium app will cover (or not) your ongoing expenses. But I am grateful for the app and what it provides for my family. Some of my fam may upgrade, but I expect most will stay with the free app and do fine without 2x. It wouldn’t be the worst thing for some of us to make our Polos more concise anyway! Again, thanks for MP. A lot of people are upset, but I’m not.

    1. Hi David – Thank you so much for this feedback 🙂 And you may have seen this note in earlier replies, but do know that regardless of which version you and your family members choose to use, you’ll be able to stay in touch with each other. We are committed to giving our users a choice. Thanks again.

  126. I think you need to have a family plan or something more affordable. You might make more revenue by reducing the price and having more subscribers vs a higher price and less subscribers. Something like $2/ month billed monthly where most won’t notice you could get a ton more paying customers, we’d pay for that versus now we won’t pay the $60 up front of $10/ month. There are two of us that use it in our home plus the others in the extended family we have groups with that use it every day. Something to consider and discuss.

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Christopher – Thanks for the pricing feedback. We are hearing from users about the wish for a family plan, and we’re passing that along to our product team 🙂

  127. Marco Polo has been one of my favorite apps for over a year now. I love connecting with my friends both near and far in a “FaceTime voicemail” (as we like to call it). Marco Polo has such a unique design and has added such value to my friendships since using it. With that being said, I am deeply saddened by the recent updates to Marco Polo. $60/year seems like a preposterous amount to be charging users who were used to using the app for free. I understand wanting to upgrade the app, I want this to be a sustainable business. BUT, taking away features such as 2x and the reactions to users who were already using them for free is just wrong. While I love Marco Polo, and want to support the vision, it is just not in my budget to pay $60/ a year for features I was enjoying for free before. What I would like to suggest, is to charge $.99 or $1.99/month. This is much more reasonable and comparable to say storage upgrades from Apple or Google – both of which I pay and don’t even realize they are coming out of my account. I hope that you take the time to listen to the community of Marco Polo users and take these thoughts, comments, and ideas into future decisions. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sarah – We really appreciate the input, and we do understand that this is a big change for our users. As you’ve probably seen in earlier replies, our decisions came from the need to achieve balance between adding lots of value for our most avid users and continuing to provide a free app, all without selling third-party ads, your privacy, or your data. If the subscription isn’t a fit for you, the free version still provides a great way to stay in touch, including unlimited chats & groups, voice effects, camera filters, notification controls, and emojis. Thanks for posting.

  128. What a bogus move. Zero warning to existing users. My most frequently used features are moving behind the paywall (i.e. 2x, photo & text polo). You know, things people use to stay connected. Why not get rid of ridiculous things like effects? Are you aware that there are many people in the world who don’t have spare disposable income right now? I’m so very disappointed.

    1. Hi Trudi – We’re sorry you’re disappointed. The free version still includes unlimited ways to connect including unlimited chats and groups, the ability to save Polos, and notification controls. Also, while the time scrubber is now a Plus feature, you can still skip ahead 10 seconds or go back 5 seconds in the free version of Marco Polo. You can also skip to the next or jump back to the last Polo. The skip feature isn’t as convenient or fast as 2x or the time scrubber. But, we wanted to make sure you knew that skipping ahead or back is still available and free.