On December 7, 2014 we released version 1.8 of Datawrapper. Along with new features like annotation in line charts and a widely demanded option to publish to either HTTP or HTTPS, we introduced new usage options. In short: While you can still use Datawrapper for free, we introduced new paid-for services. Datawrapper Single, Datawrapper Team and Datawrapper Pro.
An ahead note for long-time users: Charts you or your newsroom created before the change will stay online, of course.
Now on to the story why we are introducing the new services…
In October 2014 the number of chart views for charts created with Datawrapper hit a new, all time high: 30 million in just a month. In November 2014 that number rose even higher to more than 50 million chart views around the globe.
- We had roughly six million chart views for the first year, when we moved from public beta to version 1.0 (2012).
- Then 75 million in the full year of 2013.
- The most recent figures: More than 200 million chart views in 2014.
The main reason for this strong year-by-year growth is that in many newsrooms around the world Datawrapper has become a tool of choice, used daily. Journalists like to work with Datawrapper, because the creation of online charts and maps is simple and fast when working on deadline.
The downside of this is that our monthly costs for servers and cloud storage have risen sharply. At the same time financial support from ABZV (a non-profit German training institution for Journalists) was reduced (as planned) by the end of 2013. In 2014 we got a budget for the hosting costs, but that was it.
Whenever we meet colleagues who are working in the same space – data visualization, platforms, etc., they are usually surprised on how small the team is that got Datawrapper to the current level. We are, so far, super small. A bit too small to really push the whole thing to the next level, that is.
Taken together these are the reasons for introducing new usage options as of December 7, 2014.
What’s in it for you?
Datawrapper is great for creating and publishing charts in minutes. This is what the first iterations so far provided: A simple, open source way to create a line or bar chart, instead of fiddling with it and still not getting it right.
But what about adding more features? What about customization making Datawrapper invisible and simply supporting newsrooms by adding custom layouts for big news media? How about more maps? How about more features for teams and extended workflows to handle growing amounts of data and charts? How about massively reducing the time spent re-doing charts like in the old days?
How about building a modern day charting tool for everyone?
This is why we are introducing Datawrapper Single, Team and Pro as new services. The update will help us to built a larger team of developers. There is work to do, to go beyond of what is possible with Datawrapper now, onward to Datawrapper 2.0.
What are the specific changes?
The big change is that after December 7 the so far free hosting for charts created with Datawrapper will stop.
Important for long time users: And all the charts published will stay online and available in the cloud.
Can you still use Datawrapper for free? Yes, you can: In Datawrapper Basic you can download your chart and then upload it yourself. Not super-convenient, but for the benefit of not being charged.
Plus: Any journalism school or journalism teacher who sents us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive access to a free version of Datawrapper Team, our solution for newsrooms.
(We already work with a number of such schools).
We will use revenue from the new services to pay for the servers and – more importantly – to build a team of fully employed developers. Based on many users requests we would like to add more visualization options, more maps and other features, such as HTTPS publishing. Given the great community of Datawrapper users we’ve been in contact with in the past two years we do hope that there will be understanding for the changes and support in order to let us move from the current version to Datawrapper 2.0 and beyond. Every payment helps to get us there faster.
Usage Options, as of December 1, 2014:
Datawrapper Basic – free
The option for casual users, who only need charts or maps from time to time. Or for anyone who just wants to check out Datawrapper. This option will be without the so far included hosting of all charts created. Instead, a Datawrapper Basic user can download a chart to his computer and then upload it manually into a blog or website.
12 Euro per 30 days
For single users, who want the convenience of publishing and hosting the charts via Datawrapper. This will be charged at 12 Euros for 30 days (or 120 Euros for the full year). One thing that is special here: You don’t have to pay for a permanent subscription. Instead, you can unlock the publishing features (and more visualization types) when needed. After 30 days, simply cancel. All charts you have created will stay in the publication, all charts you have published will remain online. We wanted to avoid an issue with many online services – that you have to pay on ongoing basis. With Datawrapper just pay for what you need.
More info: Datawrapper Single Overview and Upgrade
Datawrapper Team for newsrooms
100 Euro per month
Datawrapper Team adds even more options and is designed for the use of several people, creating and exchanging charts. Teams. Datawrapper Team of course includes hosting and provides the option to get customized layouts, based on the style guide of an organizations brand. Once done the charts and maps will match your brand, there will be no visible sign that they have been created with Datawrapper.
Additional features in Datawrapper Team:
- Full publication and hosting of all charts
- Automatic updates of Datawrapper
- An archive of all charts created for everyone in the team
- Option to duplicate or update charts or maps created by others in the team
- Includes 5 million chart views per year
- Includes 5 users (additional users at 120 Euro per year)
- Additional visualization options (e.g. Scatterplot)
- Additional features (e.g. annotation)
Full customization (Optional)
The creation of one or several custom layouts for a brand or newsroom will be billed based on actual work hours.
- Option: Your layout, colors and logo
- Option: Specific maps of countries, regions or cities
- Option: Your own chart URL (e.g. charts.YOURBRAND.com)
Full customization, on a per-hour-basis
For larger institutions, sources and other companies who would need Datawrapper we offer full customization. Every aspect of the software can be adapted, as Datawrapper is fully modularized. The options range from automatic data uploads to specific features for visualization to options to create dashboards in publishing. As part of Datawrapper Pro we offer a dedicated server to run your instance of Datawrapper and hosting of all charts and maps.
If either Datawrapper Team or Datawrapper Pro sounds interesting, drop us a mail at email@example.com
If you like more background about the motivation and goals for the future,
please head over to an interview on Journalism.co.uk: “Datawrapper to launch paid-for options“