Xmarks dead and buried? Maybe not.

Steven Hodson

Three days ago I posted the news that Xmarks, a popular bookmarking plugin service for all browsers, was going to be shutting its doors within 90 days. Well it turns out that this may be a little premature given the response from users of the service and interested companies.

In a post this morning on the company blog CEO James Joaquin wrote that any talk about closing the service is in a holding pattern as they look into various option that have arisen since the original news of closing hit the web.

But on to the main thing we’ve heard… many of you have cried from the rooftops that you would be willing to pay for Xmarks. There’s an interesting thread on our customer support forums discussing this. I want to add some history and data to this discussion, so you can better understand where we’ve been as a startup and why we haven’t tried to pivot into a premium service.

But first, the punch line: we’re revisiting the idea of Xmarks as a premium service. We’ve set up a Pledgebank page where you can sign up if you’re willing to pay at least $10 a year for Xmarks. No credit card is required, but please only pledge if you are genuinely willing and able to pay:

www.pledgebank.com/XmarksPremium

This is not a scientific experiment to predict what % of our base will pay, but it’s a data point that will definitely help.

One of the interesting point in the post though was what it costs to run Xmarks for a year – $2 million.

Today Xmarks costs over $2 million a year to run. For two developers in a garage this could be a nice business, but we had big aspirations (per point #1) and have already invested $9 million dollars to create the technology and grow the data corpus. If $2MM / year seems crazy high to you, remember that we staffed senior engineers to keep up with changes on multiple browsers and operating systems, plus a team building our search features.

I don’t use Xmarks but if you do or would like t o maybe now would be the best time to show your support and head over to their pledge page and do more than just talk.