Collaborative source-code repository software company GitHub is announcing changes to its pricing structure today. The company is now starting to let paying users maintain an unlimited number of private repositories that are blocked off from public visibility.
Effective immediately, GitHub has just two options for customers: accounts for personal users that cost $7 per month, and accounts for organizations that cost $9 per user per month, or $25 per month for the first five users. That’s very different from the way GitHub has previously structured its pricing, which involved paying more to get more private repos, for both personal accounts and organizations.
“The idea is you can create a new project without asking anybody for permission,” GitHub product manager Tim Clem told VentureBeat in an interview. “You don’t have to go to your admin. You literally just create a repo and start working. We’ve had that dynamic in the public space. There are 35 million projects and counting on GitHub — it’s working really well. We’re bringing the same dynamics into the private collaboration space.”
This is what users have wanted, and this is what users are getting. Theoretically, this will lead to more revenue for GitHub, which carries a reported $2 billion valuation. Meanwhile, there is competition from cloud infrastructure providers like Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform, as well as from Atlassian, with Bitbucket, and open-source upstart GitLab.
The new pricing could also bring about changes in the way that code is organized on the service. When people can set up as many new repos as they want, they can conceivably end up keeping more code on the site altogether. But it will also facilitate more walls between code. Each repo can be more narrow, dedicated, and focused, which could lead to greater engagement.
“My take on that is we really shouldn’t be in the business of influencing people’s software architecture, and a lot of modern software development is becoming very modular. That means multiple services and breaking stuff up into various pieces. The current price structure is pretty prohibitive to that,” Clem explained.
See GitHub’s blog post for more detail.