About the switch to “service units”
As of 2011-10-03, we have changed the measure of our services from “queries” to “service units”.
Previously account balances and free daily balances were quoted in terms of “queries”, and each use
of our tools was 1 query. By changing to “service units”, we can set appropriate pricing for future
tools that will vary more widely in cost: some queries will cost more than 1 service unit, some will
cost less. Balances can now include fractions.
- Has the pricing changed?
- No. For the time being, each query against our current tools and services will cost exactly 1 service unit, thus keeping prices the same.
- What do I need to do as a user?
- Nothing. Everything works as it did before. We are simply explaining the change in terminology.
- What happened to using commas in numbers?
- With the switch to “service units”, we have also made some changes in the way we display numbers:
- We now use of spaces as thousands separators instead of commas.
Example: 1 234 567 instead of 1,234,567
- We display prices with a currency code at the end instead of using a currency symbol.
Example: 100 USD instead of $100
- Why use spaces as thousands separators?
- At small font sizes it can be difficult to distinguish between commas and periods. Since service unit quantities
can now include fractions (unlike “queries”), this becomes a more important issue. Spaces, however, are clearly distinguishable from periods.
- Displaying numbers this way is an unambiguous international standard.
- We have users from all over the world and cannot always determine the local number format convention for each user,
so using the international standard makes numbers clear for everyone, even if the format might seem slightly foreign.
- Why use currency codes instead of currency symbols?
- Various countries have currencies called “dollars” and use the $ symbol.
Using a currency code (another international standard) makes it completely clear which currency we mean.
- Putting currency codes after numbers is more consistent with the practice
of putting units after numbers, particularly when the currency is part of a
Example: 100 USD/month