Third-party app developers who utilize or plan to utilize the Google Maps API were treated to lower plan pricing on Monday. Google recently announced that large-scale map providers would be forced to pay $4 per 1,000 map loads and now the company has drastically reduced that pricing to $.50 per 1,000 map utilizations.
The pricing structure only applies after a third-party app provider has surpassed the company’s 25,000-a-day free limit.
The move to lower pricing and make Google Maps more attractive to developers came just days after Apple announced plans to ditch Google Maps on iOS 6 in exchange for OpenStreetMap. Also recently ditching Google Maps was location-based provider FourSquare.
Google admitted on its Geo Developer blog that pricing ended up being a big factor for some users:
“We’ve been listening carefully to feedback,” and “some developers were worried about the potential costs.”
While everyday map hackers and small-scale map developers will likely never reach the 25,000 free-limit the paid program was meant to target the .35 percent of sites that use the Google Maps API regularly and exceed the free limit base.
Price drops will likely help large-scale app developers and website owners who require extra Google Maps API use, however as many website and app developers pinch pennies to turn a profit in a highly competitive mobile and web apps space it is likely any associated cost could push them towards free and cheaper mapping software.
Would you be willing to pay $.50 per 1,000 map downloads if your own platform exceeding 25,000 map utilizations per day?