I admire this decision and it increases my respect for Gallup. It has always bothered me that the full-34 version was mainly available to employees who are fortunate enough to work for a company that could afford Gallup's consulting services. This bothered me also in view of the the "revolutionary", "make-the-world-a-better-place" rhetoric in many of the Gallup books.
And believe me: it makes a big difference if you know your ranked sequence of all 34 talent themes rather than only your top five (signature) talents. In fact, in my strengths-based coaching training that I received in the past from Gallup, it was always emphasized that it is really our top 10 talents that define us.
From an acquaintance who personally knows Jim Clifton, I learnt that is has always been a concern of him how to spread the StrengtsFinder tool and philosophy to a wider public, while of course not jeopardizing the economic engine of Gallup Consulting. I imagine that these are two difficult objectives to balance. And hence, I applaud Gallup's courageous step to make the StrengthsFinder available to a much wider public.
I find it also interesting that Gallup has not chosen to go the way that many providers of personality assessments have gone: to develop a network of independent, certified coaches as a special "sales channel" for the StrengthsFinder. This emphasizes their commitment to really make it available to a broad public. And I also know from own experience that the true value add of strengths-based coaching is not in administering a psychological assessment and provide some standardized feedback, but to provide a highly individualized feedback for a client, taking many other factors such as personality into account, and then provide clear, actionable recommendations for how to develop talents into strengths that go well beyond the general advise you can find in the Gallup books.