GitHub announced today that all of its key features are now available for free to all users, including those currently on free accounts. This means free unlimited private repositories with unlimited partners for everyone, including groups using the service for commercial projects, as well as up to 2,000 minutes a month of free access to GitHub Actions, the company’s automated CI / CD platform.
Teams that want more advanced features, such as code holders or business functions, such as SAML support, will still need to upgrade to a paid program, but these now start at $ 4 per month instead of the $ 9 previously spent with Enterprise program starts at $ 21 per month and per user.
The CEO of GitHub Nat Friedman stressed that this move has long been in the company’s plans and was not due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This is something we planned to do and we wanted to do for a long time,” Friedman said. “But it’s definitely something we wanted to do and it’s a big deal.”
The company has obviously always followed a freemium approach to pricing, but since its acquisition by Microsoft, it has begun to expand the number of features in its free accounts. Not long ago, one of the main reasons to pay for the lowest personal GitHub account would be to have access to private repositories, for example. But last January, the company decided to give unlimited private access to all free users, although these were limited to three partners at a time.
“We are changing GitHub from a payment model to privacy protection to features that are commonly called freemium,” said Friedman. “The way we think about it is that we want every developer and team on earth to be able to use GitHub for their development, whether it’s for private or public development.”
Currently, there are more than 40 million developers on GitHub and Friedman says the team predicts it will reach 100 million by 2025.
“It’s a fundamental change in GitHub’s business architecture. That’s something we can think about internally, “said Friedman. “What everyone else can think of is: they can use GitHub now, for whatever reason. If you are starting a startup or if you are a team within a large company and just want to use GitHub – no credit card required, no budget required – you can just create your team. “
Friedman argues that the team did not make these changes due to competition pressure, although it is worth noting that GitLab, for example, offers a competitive free plan with built-in CI / CD features, while Atlassian’s BitBucket now has a free offer that seems a bit limited in light of GitHub’s changes.
“This change makes us by far the best price service for software developers,” he said. I think this change makes us much better than our competitors. Therefore, it was not for competitive reasons but because we were informed about what exactly the market needs.