As reported recently in our newsletter, we'll shortly be disabling new Member level signups, and replacing Member with a new service level called Ad Free.
Over the past 7 years, FastMail has had 4 different service levels for individual accounts: Guest (free), Member (one-time $14.95), Full ($19.95/year) and Enhanced ($39.95/year). As market conditions have changed, we've updated the features offered by each level to stay competitive while remaining profitable so we can continue to offer our service for the long term.
Recent data we've collected has shown that the Member level is not being used very much. However we did identify a market for a low priced, small storage, ad-free account. Because of that, from the start of 2009 we will be removing the ability to signup for new "Member" accounts, and replacing it with a new level called "Ad Free" (if you have an existing Member level account, or Member level fallback, don't worry, see below).
The main details of the new level are:
The account level is already available on our beta server (http://www.fastmail.fm/beta/), so if you want to upgrade an existing account or signup a new account you can do so there. Any account you do signup/upgrade there will be fully useable on the beta and also the regular production server as well, we just don't have layout space to list it until the Member level is closed.
If you have been thinking of getting a Member level account, then you should do so before 2009.
Guest accounts: A number of people have asked if we're getting rid of Guest level accounts. Guest level accounts are not being removed or changed in any way and will continue to operate exactly as they are.
Existing Member/Member "fallback" users: We're not making any changes to existing users, the only change is that from 2009, you won't be able to signup a new Member level account. Users with existing Member level accounts will stay exactly as they are. If you have an existing Full/Enhanced account that has a Member level "fallback", then that will also stay exactly the same, and if you don't renew, your account will become a Member level account.