Unfortunately, due to the high cost associated with avatars, we are no longer able to offer uploading of avatars (links/URLs to avatars are not affected and will remain available) to the app starting version 1.9. Simply Plural is a free app, with no advertisements, with our only revenue being from Patreon and other monetary supports, such as The Plural Association.
You will have 2 weeks time after the production (not beta) release of 1.9 to stay on 1.8 and continue to have avatar uploads. After that we will turn off uploads for older versions.
As of the moment of writing we have 5.300.000 avatars, that's 5.3 million, stored on our servers. This requires a lot of storage and a lot of bandwidth that we unfortunately cannot afford in the long run. While the costs for the current amount of avatars is something we can manage, we only see more and more avatars being uploaded every day and the costs will soon start to spiral out of control.
As always, you can add avatars to your members, custom fronts and account by URL. You will still be able to do this and this is not something we will remove.
As some of you may have noticed, there are often times where people struggle to upload or download avatars and this will only get worse the more avatars there are uploaded.
With that said, existing avatars will not be deleted, removed or made otherwise unavailable for anyone. Everyone will still be able to view any already-uploaded avatars, you just will not be able to upload any avatars going forward.
Lastly, we ask that you please do not quickly upload as many avatars as you can. You will enough time to upload any avatars you still want to upload.
Why advertisements for revenue does not work for Apparyllis
After reading the above, some of you may think that if we show advertisements to users who want to upload avatars that we might be able to afford avatar uploads for those users. That's a fair question to ask but advertisements is against the mission of Apparyllis.
Apparyllis was founded to create apps that do not invade privacy and where privacy-first is our mission. Advertisements are the opposite of privacy as they are heavily targeted. Furthermore we do not want any advertisement experience in Simply Plural, which is an app meant to help your system and friends, advertisements would be destructive to that.
Why a payment-model for revenue is not something we are currently considering
At the current time of writing Apparyllis is run by a single individual, with the help of the community to help users in our Discord server. Adding the option to pay-for additional features is not only against what we want this app to be but it also would require additional staff that we currently cannot afford.
With payments come payment disputes, refund requests, and more which requires staff to manage. As we are a team of one this is not currently a responsibility we can take up in addition to the development and support of the app.
Like stated above, avatar URLs is and always will remain available for you to have avatars for your members, custom fronts and account.