This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (October 2023)
Type of site
|no-code development platform|
|Launched||June 21, 2012|
Bubble is a visual programming language, a no-code development platform and an application platform as a service, developed by Bubble Group, that enables non-technical people to build web applications without needing to type code. Instead, users draw the interface by dragging and dropping elements onto a page and defining workflows to control the logic. Bubble's vision is to make hand-coding for web applications largely obsolete.
Bubble's visual development platform is used to create websites and web applications with more advanced functionality than what is possible with template-oriented website builders such as Wix and Squarespace. It is used by non-technical startup founders, in schools for education purposes, and by other organizations for commercial purposes.
Bubble allows users to build web applications including social media sites like Twitter, marketplaces like Airbnb and Uber, services like Instacart, and more through tutorials. Bubble offers its own API integrations, templates and plugins. Users of the platform have also created new third-party templates, plugins and service built within the Bubble eco-system.
Bubble was founded by Emmanuel Straschnov and Josh Haas in 2012 in New York. Bubble has been bootstrapped for seven years. In 2019, Bubble raised $6M from SignalFire, Neo, Nas, Eric Ries and the founders of Warby Parker, Allbirds, Okta, Harry's. In 2021, Bubble raised $100M. Bubble was named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies of 2021. Web traffic to Bubble's websites have increased at a compounded growth rate greater than 50% from 2017 to 2021.
2023 Pricing Model Controversy
In April 2023, Bubble.io announced a controversial change to its pricing model, introducing a new metric called "workload units." This change followed an earlier attempt in March 2022 to shift the pricing model based on database entries, which had also been met with considerable backlash from the user community.
The goal of the new pricing model was to address sustainability issues due to most users running on lower pricing tiers regardless of their usage or size. Bubble.io aimed to align its revenue more closely with the scaling of users' applications on their platform, rather than relying on capacity.
However, the changes sparked significant controversy within the Bubble.io community. The announcement thread on the company's forum quickly garnered over 2000 replies, with many users expressing dissatisfaction and threatening to leave the platform. Critics argued that the new pricing model could lead to disproportionate costs and felt that their needs and concerns were not adequately considered before the implementation of the change.
Bubble.io responded to the criticism by reaching out to affected users individually to provide optimization support and held a live webinar to provide further guidance and elaboration on the changes. The company also committed to improving bulk data operations, an area of concern highlighted by users, and to make file storage more affordable in the new pricing model.
Despite the controversy, Bubble.io founder Emmanuel Straschnov stated that "Most apps will have a sufficient amount of workload included in their plan and won’t need to subscribe to an additional tier," suggesting that the new model was designed to cater to a majority of users without imposing additional costs.
This episode underscored the dependency of users on proprietary tools like Bubble.io and sparked a broader discussion about pricing models in the no-code development space. As of now, it remains to be seen how these changes will impact the platform's user base and reputation in the long term.
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