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Thread: Ning drops free service for its social network site

  1. #1
    Senior Member gogo's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    planet Gogon - M25 class planet

    Default Ning drops free service for its social network site

    NIng to drop free service

    Ning social network site is going from freemium to paid-for

    Ning's new chief executive has announced that the site is going to shed staff, stop its free service and concentrate on its premium users. But it isn't the first to fail at the freemium approach, and it won't be the last

    Ning, which lets anyone set up their own social network service, is slashing staff numbers from 167 to 98 and changing its strategy. Recently-appointed chief executive Jason Rosenthal sent staff a memo that said: "we are going to change our strategy to devote 100% of our resources to building the winning product to capture this big opportunity" -- that being the premium service, not the one supported by advertising.
    "We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning," added Rosenthal.

    Over its life, the service has received about $120m in venture capital backing, but does not appear to have made a profit.
    Ning ("peace" in Chinese) has been well regarded partly because of its chairman, Marc Andreessen, who led the development of the Mosaic browser and co-founded Netscape to replace it (hence Mozilla, a Mosaic-killer). His co-founder and former CEO at Ning, Gina Bianchini, also made a name for herself.
    In a video interview published at last month, Bianchini said the next-generation Ning would be launched this year, and that the company was hiring. She was also happy to talk about revenue streams. She said about 13% of the user base paid for some premium services, and Ning also made money from "virtual gifts". As an example, she mentioned "bloody chain saws" being sold on the Lost Zombies network.


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    MobiEnthusiast coast's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    This is a serious blow to academics. A lot of teachers had set up ning groups for their students.

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