I've been looking around the web at reviews and analyses of Jetpack, and I haven't been able to find any coherent discussion surrounding why not to use the Jetpack other than avoiding Wordpress.com's Terms of Services (which is unfortunately mandatory, even though Jetpack contains some plugin code that does not require Wordpress.com services or an API key).

A secondary question is: what is business motivation behind Jetpack? Is the idea to bring more WP usage data into wp.com's usage, giving more data to shape the product? Is it merely the delivery of freemium services like VaultPress?

Thanks for any answers!

  • With regards to motivation, Matt has told me that he wants there to be feature parity between self-hosted WordPress installs and WordPress.com installs. Everybody, both COM and ORG are users of "WordPress", and you shouldn't really need to give up any features when moving between one and the other. Jetpack is one of the ways they're trying to make that experience better. – Otto Feb 6 '12 at 20:44
  • Thanks for the note, that is certainly what the original release note explained. But my question was also about: what incentive besides experience is there to maintain jetpack? Collecting lots of WP user data? Is that fed back into development efforts? Who sees that data, is it valuable? Or is data not the emphasis? – Matt Senate Feb 6 '12 at 20:50
  • Data is nice, and stats are great, but the main reasoning (as I understand it) is that Automattic wants people to be able to easily move from COM to ORG or vice-versa, without having to give up anything or for the transition to be quite so painful. From a business perspective, this makes sense. Make it easy for people to become your customers, and easy for people to migrate their data away too. Vendor lock-in sucks, and we all hate it. (Disclaimer: I work for Matt, but not for Automattic, so I have no real insight into their business motivations other than random conversations.) – Otto Feb 6 '12 at 20:56

The most common complaint I've heard is that it's bloated with too many plugins. You can try the Jetpack Lite plugin to avoid that however.


As for their business motivation, I can't give a definitive answer. I'd venture to say it's related to being a freemium service as they state in their FAQ:

Jetpack itself is, and always will be free. Some individual features that Jetpack provides will be free, but others in the future may require payment.

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  • Plugin bloat seems like a good reason. Something else I started thinking about is plugin functionality in development, staging, and testing environments. Since Jetpack requires your site to be publicly accessible, you won't be able to use any of its functionality until you've pushed your site up to a live/production environment. – Matt Senate Feb 6 '12 at 20:49
  • I've also found that when I install Jetpack for clients my intention is to use only the necessary components, but I visit their site months later and notice that they've activated everything and things are a little messy. Less is more. – developdaly Apr 6 '12 at 17:26
  • Coincidentally, I stumbled upon this plugin addressing that particular problem of automatic enabling of new features: wordpress.org/extend/plugins/manual-control – Matt Senate Oct 31 '12 at 1:28

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