Join us for Table Talk next week for more information about recent Airtable updates

Happy 2022! I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start.

As you may have seen earlier this week, as of Tuesday, January 11th, Airtable has rolled out updates to our Free, Plus, and Pro plans*. These updates to our packaging are meant to give users access to more advanced features in Airtable, like apps and sync integrations. We’re also starting off the year with a few much-needed product improvements to our automations and view features.

We are excited about all of these changes and would love to have you join us for Table Talk on Thursday, January 20th to learn more. Airtable’s Self Serve Product Leader, Lauryn Isford, and Head of End User Marketing, Christy Roach will join us to share a behind the scenes look at the thinking and strategy behind our packaging changes, and Mary Cook from Airtable’s Automations team will also be joining us to talk about some new functionality we’re launching next week. You can submit questions in advance here.

For those who were already planning on joining us for next week’s Table Talk, this is a slight change of plans. We had previously planned to have Peter Deng, our Chief Product Officer, join us to talk about our roadmap. Peter is still excited to talk about all things Airtable Roadmap with you, and this has been shifted to Thursday, February 10. Thanks for your ongoing feedback and flexibility. We hope to see you at both of our upcoming Table Talk sessions.

*There is no price change associated with this update and no existing workspaces lose any capabilities. For more details about this update to our Free, Plus, and Pro plans as well as FAQs, please see this resource page published in our help center.

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Since all three of my questions are unlikely to be answered during the Table Talk I will post them here for posterity:

  1. Why are new Pro users limited to 10 apps per base?
  2. Why was this limit placed before greater than 5% of the Apps can be replaced with Interface Designer’s functionality?
  3. What steps will Airtable take to rebuild its now tanked relationship with the developer community?

There are pros and cons to the changes in pricing plans. The “10 apps per base” limit for Pro users is indefensible from every angle I’ve looked at it and am dying to see what the justification could possibly be.

The first non-explicative I can think of to describe that change in particular is still “disrespectful”.

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10 apps/base on the pro plan is a serious limitation that conflicts with a lot of the product design. Why have multiple dashboards and copies of apps that can contain different configurations? Those are useful features that are ruined by this seemingly arbitrary limitation. For example having a handful of CSV import apps that all have different configs is very useful.

This change is the first time I have been concerned about the direction/decisions of Airtable. I don’t say that lightly, I love the product, and have multiple organizations using it.

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These updates were meant to “give users access to more advanced features in Airtable”?

Um…

Apps were reduced from unlimited apps to 10 apps.

Internal syncs were reduced from 20 syncs to 10 syncs.

External syncs were reduced from unlimited sync sources per base to 7 sync sources per entire workspace.

Amongst other reductions as well.

So, given all of the above, would you care to elaborate on how exactly this has “given users more access to advanced features in Airtable”?

If you guys think that you are generating goodwill amongst your customers & consultants, you are sorely mistaken.

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Does the following excerpt from the resource page mean unlimited scripting apps are allowed? The app limit refers only to apps other than scripting?

Do the scripting app and custom block SDK count towards per base app limits?

No. Users will still be able to add the scripting app and use custom block SDK without having it count towards their plan’s app limit.

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Plus users get more functionality across the board, and Free users got some new features and some new limitations.

Pro users, the ones who pay the most, got shafted. To clarify: I am aware existing users don’t lose functionality, this is for new customers. That does not change how absurd the change is from a conceptual or practical level.

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Correct. My post was specifically referring to Pro users.

And they got massively screwed.

I’d love to hear how Airtable thinks that this is going to help build a healthy or respectful ecosystem.

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I shared my thoughts as did a few others in the facebook and slack communities and Ive already lost 4 days of my life to freaking out over what this change means for all of the people I have grown to know and love in this community so I will keep it brief and as civil as possible. yall have had very limited community input so far. We have been the ones providing the support you have proven time and time again to be too inept to handle. When people need real problems solved they some to people like the OPENSIDERS! LIKE KAMILLE FREAKING PARKS whom you have blatantly left out and ignored!!! Not to mention I have never once received a HELPFUL support response that actually solved my issue unless it was an issue caused by airtable in the first place. as a power user, to get any useful help we have to help EACHOTHER! Do you know where I go to get that? DAN FREAKING FELLARS whom you have just undercut his entire business as the original hole filler for your incomplete product.
it doesn’t matter what you release or announce! it doesn’t matter what you think you’re ‘gifting’ us, you blew it. screwed the pooch. crumbled the cookie on Developer relations with your handling of the entire situation before during and after. Then on top of that, you basically made a list of developers you care about and a list of developers you don’t. sounds like all that angel money is going to some heads. don’t forget who advocates for your product! don’t forget who tells companies whether they should or shouldn’t use airtable. all the airtable developers you push out are just going to go become coda consultants or learn google sheets and integromat. you’re not the end all be all for business systems. infact ITS NOT EVEN DONE! this isn’t SALESFORCE!

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I’m adding my voice those these :point_up: messages. Won’t leave much more here, 'cause it wouldn’t be pretty :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Very, very disappointed in Airtable at this moment. And how much love and effort and input does it take for these :point_up: and other amazing community contributers to get some freaking respect…

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I just wanted to append that by “you” I mean Airtable as a whole.

Apparently, more than 3 apps in the Marketplace and/or more than 312 solutions here in the forums.

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Appreciate that, @Rebecca_Elam! I understand the frustrations and I’m making sure all of these comments are documented and escalated accordingly.

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And what 2-3 podcasts a week?

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I’ve been trying to remain somewhat optimistic about this whole situation, but I absolutely echo the frustration present in this thread.

This is the way I’m looking at it. I’m comparing the current situation to how it was when I started. I signed up in February of 2019, and four months later I was convinced (and had somehow convinced my wife) that the Pro plan was the way to go.

If, today, I was four months into using Airtable on the Free plan, would I make the same decision to pay for the Pro plan—the one that exists now after the announced changes earlier this week?

Back in 2019, I saw a lot of potential in the Pro plan. Sure, part of that potential was for me, but I was also beginning to see how I could help other users and possibly build a business. And that was before custom apps were added, before scripting, before automations.

Looking at what the new Pro plan offers compared to what I’ve got as a legacy user on that plan, it almost literally makes me shudder. Yes, it’s a clear upgrade from the Free plan, and a lot of the things that I use on a daily basis—both for myself and my clients—are still there. But frankly I don’t see nearly as much potential with the limits that have been put in place.

The Pro plan that I have now gives me freedom. I don’t use a ton of apps, but if I feel like I need to add one, I don’t have to think about how many I’m using. I can add one, or two, or five, or whatever I need, and that’s the key word. What do users need? If someone on the new Pro plan needs more than 10 apps…um, well, they’re stuck. There is literally nowhere to—oh, that’s right, there’s the Enterprise plan. How much is that? …I’m sorry, what did you say?! :flushed:

Looking at just the app allotment, the lower plans now make a series of baby steps: 1 for Free, 3 for Plus, and 10 for Pro. But the transition from Pro to Enterprise is not even close to a baby step. Not even an adult step. More like a several-giants-stacked-on-each-other’s-shoulders step. I actually charted it—using Airtable’s own Chart app—and it’s literally not a pretty picture. I’ll refrain from posting that for various reasons, but suffice to say it’s a) the only step left, and b) way too big a step for most to make.

In short: unless the average Pro user comes into a windfall of cash, they literally have no other option but to live with what Pro gives them.

Under the new plan, that’s not freedom. That’s not potential. Compared to my legacy-Pro options, that’s downright depressing.

In fact, after sharing news of these plan changes with my newsletter audience, one subscriber (who’s also a client) replied with his own frustrations, concluding with this statement that hit me hard:

I’ll have to be careful never to upgrade.

As I said at the start of this, I’ve tried to be optimistic about this whole thing. Part of me is still (surprisingly) thinking that way, hoping that something announced soon-ish might make me look back on this and repent for being so quick to anger. But I also can’t ignore a very wise statement made elsewhere (I won’t say who unless they give me permission):

You can’t “spoon full of sugar” a week after the medicine

I’m glad that I got Pro when I did, and I’m immensely grateful that my plan isn’t being downgraded to the new Pro level. If I’d joined four months ago, would I make the jump from Free to Pro now? Probably not. And that truly, genuinely, scares me.

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Isn’t it amazing the lengths that Airtable will go through — for years now — to continually slap their customers and consultants in the face?

Over and over and over and over again?

And now, they’ve upgraded from daily slaps in the face to just coming out and shooting us point blank in the face.

To be a supporter of this thing called Airtable, you have to be a masochist.

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It’s better you channel those resources put on marketing and table talk to more customer engagement and app improvement rather than lowering down the limit.

The huge problem with new pro plan is that record limit is still 50k. You can’t scale with Airtable with pro plan. As what @Justin_Barrett had mentioned, from Pro to Enterprise is a giant leap!

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Inspired by @Justin_Barrett, I used Airtable’s own Charting App to create the chart below.

This chart shows the difference in pricing between Airtable’s 4 plans:

And as we are all painfully aware, the Enterprise plan doesn’t even offer that much more than the Pro Plan.

The Enterprise plan still comes with ridiculous & severe limits, such as 100,000 records, 25 Automations, and an almost unlimited list of other restrictions. :rofl: :joy:

But Airtable seems to forget that users on Pro Plans is what built their business, not Enterprise Plans.

I thought that Howie Liu was all about “democratizing software creation for people”? :thinking: :thinking: :thinking: I don’t know how democratic it is to force people to pay $3,000 per month for faaaaar less than what you get with a competitor like FileMaker for only $100 per month.

If Airtable is trying to hand over all of their business to competitors like FileMaker — who actually offers ZERO LIMITS, a COMPLETE APP with no missing features, a RESPONSIVE development & support team, and MUCH CHEAPER PRICING than Airtable — this is the best way for Airtable to do it! :rofl: :joy:

It’s almost as if Airtable thinks that people don’t have access to a web browser, where they can easily search for alternatives to Airtable.

Not to mention that the product itself is incomplete and buggy, but that’s a story for another day.

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Oof that chart makes me nauseous any time I see it.

Here’s the thing. I’m the only person competent enough to use the airtables needed in my business. I don’t want anyone else to touch my data. My structure. Not to mention. I own the IP on structure of things so ideally I don’t want anyone who IS competent enough to just go rebuild what I’ve built and sell it. AND no one else but the data architects need to see the sums, percentages and Rollups at the highest level. The only way I can confidently do that with the current structure is just. NOT GIVE ANYONE ELSE LICENSES. So no I cannot justify paying for 50 users when I will only be using one license. But I NEED 100k+ records. And I NEED ideally unlimited automation runs but I get it’s a business and that costs money. Even the “custom enterprise” or whatever is SEAT based. I DONT NEED SEATS! I need to run the BACKend and give them the fruits. Keep in mind the fact that a new user can’t just jump on and understand in an enterprise product is unacceptable.I’ve spent 5 years using and learning airtable so they shouldn’t have to.

Vice versa, a client still has to pay $ 240 a year extra for an AT consultant to help them out. I have a client where I’m onboard as an AT expert and 2 external ICT guys for the scripting, etc. Then don’t even need the fruits, they’re needed to gap the defects that AT still has. Result: an extra $ 720 a year :woozy_face:

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I’ve been active on these forums almost every day for the past two years. I’ve seen a variety of firestorms on these forums, and I decided to look up the first that I remember.

The change that triggered this issue was actually a really good change. The initial problem was not with the change itself, but with how the change was rolled out.

Here are some things that I liked about how Airtable handled that situation.

  • The changes were publicly announced by Airtable, not shared to only a handful of users that Airtable thought might be interested, and not discovered by a user stumbling across it.

  • The announcement acknowledged that some people would be unhappy with the changes.

  • The announcement made it clear that feedback had been solicited from the community before making changes.

  • The announcement invited further discussion.

  • It took only two posts pointing out how the mismanaged rollout hurt users before Airtable issued an apology along with explanations of what Airtable was doing on behalf of users to remedy the situation.

  • The person behind the rollout problem publicly owned the mistake and made specific promises regarding how such a mistake would not occur again (and those promises have been kept).

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