A letter from Lacey
LittleHoots Founder and CEO
Dear LittleHoots family,
It’s a bittersweet day. A huge opportunity to move forward and at the same time… a day I hoped would never come… the day I have to tell you LittleHoots can no longer be a free service. It’s a moment I’ve been working hard to avoid.
I’ve talked to many of you over the years and I know your initial reactions will be disappointment. Even worse, I fear many of you will choose to stop using the app. But, the truth is, I totally get it! Because I know and share your feelings as a user… wanting old features and design packs back… wanting better and new features implemented. I’ve heard all your requests loud and clear and they shoot straight to my heart like an arrow. That’s where the opportunity comes in! Subscription dollars mean it’s all possible. I know it’s annoying to pay for apps! I struggle with it, too.
So it’s in this moment that I realize it may help to tell some of the backstory and as you’re making your decision to continue using LittleHoots (or not). You need to know that your decision to subscribe is more than just a few bucks a month, it’s the lifeblood that will make our little memory keeping platform available for years to come… or not.
As I sit down to write this blog post this morning, I checked facebook like I normally do. This memory popped up. 5 years ago?! I’m pregnant with my daughter here (now soon to be a kindergartener). My now 3rd grader, Jett (sitting on my lap), had just turned 4 and was in preschool! What? It seems like 100 years ago. See the tiredness in my eyes? That’s legit. I’m in the process of teaching myself how to do interface design in Photoshop for the original version of our app (set to launch in May 2014). At this point in time, LittleHoots wasn’t even a thing. It’s hard for me to truly remember those days because sooo much has happened since then. What I remember for sure is that it was a scary and exhausting time for our little family as we made the choice to sacrifice everything and take a huge step of faith to start this company. Looking back, I wouldn’t change it because I did (and still do) believe so strongly in it’s power to strengthen relationships. I believe building this solution is my calling and my purpose.
If you’re still with me (thanks hanging in), I’m telling you this because I think it helps you understand that we’re not some big company with endless resources. We’re the exact opposite, in fact. This all started with one Mom and a tiny little dream. The past 5 years have been the craziest rollercoaster ride imaginable. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. Startup land is not for the faint of heart. Countless people have poured their hearts and souls into helping me build and maintain this platform. 2 years ago, due to a major piece of technology going offline, we had to rebuild the entire app from scratch. I can’t even begin to name all the people who have poured design, marketing, financial and development resources and talent into this effort. It’s just simply too much to recount here, but quite possibly the biggest miracle I’ve ever witnessed. StoryCorps actually gave me a chance to tell the story more in-depth. If you’re interested, you can listen here.
I want you to know I’ve exhausted all the monetization avenues I can find, but I will not give up. You’ve probably noticed this blog is posted on the Loom website. We’ve actually repurposed the LittleHoots software to fill needs for businesses and brands. It’s part of our ongoing efforts to generate revenue. Please check it out and let us know if you or anyone you know would be interested in a collaboration.
The most important thing I’d like you to know? You can feel good knowing your subscription dollars will not only keep LittleHoots alive and thriving for all our families, but it will also fund improvements and new design packs! Just think of all the priceless memories you’ve captured with LittleHoots. Did you know it’s currently over 425,000 memories that would have been lost otherwise? Can you imagine life without it? I certainly cannot. Let’s do this, together.
All my love,
Subscription Questions Answered
When will the switch happen? Thursday March 21, 2019
How will it work? Current users will receive 3 more free memories before being required to unlock the unlimited subscription. All new users get a free trial that includes the creation of 3 free memories before being required to unlock unlimited.
How much will it cost? You have a choice between monthly and yearly unlimited plans. Monthly is $5.99/mo or you can save 50% with the yearly plan which is only $2.99/mo ($35.99 billed yearly).
What does my subscription include? Unlimited access to all things LittleHoots!
ALL DESIGN PACKS FREE
Unlimited memory creation
Unlimited invites and sharing with friends and family
Safe & Secure memory backup
Free high-resolution downloads of all memories anytime
Are my viewers in my circle (spouse, grandparents, friends) required to subscribe? Nope! Friends and family can continue to keep up with the kids for free. Creators are the only user group required to subscribe.
Why isn’t LittleHoots free anymore? It’s simple really. We must generate revenue to cover expenses or shut down the app. We do not have enough users (or impressions as they call it) for advertising to generate enough revenue to keep us alive.
How do I export all my memories? Users choosing to stop using LittleHoots (non-subscribers) can purchase an export of all high-resolution memories for $9.99 here. New unlimited subscribers can request a link to all high-resolution hoots for free at anytime here.
Are new design packs and feature updates coming? Oh friends, if you only knew the angst I must fight back to write this. All of these much needed improvements cost money. Long story short … that’s why we need your subscription dollars. Please subscribe so we can make this happen, together.
What if I’m a Patron? A huge thank you to all current patrons! If you choose to continue contributing as a LittleHoots patron, your funds will go toward brand new features, updates and design pack development. If you’d like to cancel your Patreon subscription, you can do so here.
Where did the books go? Unfortunately, we no longer have the capacity to create books for you. But don’t you worry for a second, we still have a brilliant solution for all your keepsake needs! You can simply request a link to all your high-resolution memories and use your favorite company (like Chatbooks or Shutterfly) to create books and keepsakes. Non-paying users can purchase here. Paying subscribers receive these links for free at anytime. And, there are still a few keepsake available for purchase in our keepsake store.
What happens to my design pack credits? Unfortunately, any existing design pack credits will expire. I know some of you didn’t get a chance to use them all after the big switch from our original app to 2.0. Please accept my sincere apologies. If we get enough subscribers to fund future development, you will see brand new design packs showing up inside your app asap. And now that we are subscription based, ALL DESIGN PACKS WILL BE FREE!! (as part of your subscription) Woo-hoo!
How else can I help? Perhaps you’re not a LittleHoots user, but you love reading our hoots of the week? Or maybe you’re just a big fan of our mission? Or maybe you’re a user and you want to do more? If any of these are the case, thank you and we LOVE you! You can become a patron here.