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Why Do Notifications Cost Money!?

August 20, 2023

Why do I have to pay?

Notifications cost money as this feature requires a server that costs a decent amount of money to run. Given the number of users the app has and the fact that Bessy is a one person team, making such a feature free would incur immense costs, something that isn't sustainable for me.

But in other apps, notifications are free. Why is Bessy an exception?

Most apps can afford the costs of operating a notifications server as most apps are run by multi-million (sometimes multi-billion dollar) corporations. We're a one person team, and as such the costs of such a service are much more of a burden.

Convince me why I should pay for notifications

  • Unlike the official Schoology app's, our notifications actually work
  • You can customize how detailed or mysterious you want your notifications to be
  • You no longer have to spam refresh your grades to see if there's an update

Is this some trick where you are going to slowly start paywalling more and more features?

Short answer: no.

Long answer: only features that would cost me a good amount of money to run will be paywalled. I can't think of any other future features that would fit in such a category.

You're lying! Features like custom app icons are paywalled!

Initially, the subscription only had notifications. However, Apple didn't like this as this violates one of their guidelines. I had a call with Apple and they said that the problem was that the subscription was marketing notifications as a whole, which isn't allowed in order to prevent abuse. They recommended that instead of marketing notifications as a whole, I should market a generic subscription service that includes other features.

To meet this requirement, I added extra features such as custom app icons. We are never going to paywall core features.

This situation isn't unique to just me. For example, Apollo faced a similar dilemma when Apple denied their subscription which only contained notifications.