Ning Cuts Free Service

| April 21, 2010

Trend: Social Tools

Ning announced last week that it will discontinue its free service on May 4. Ning is a very popular social network among educators and there is some concern that the new fees will make it impossible for non-profits and educators to continue to use the service. Most of the comments on the Ning blog are from educators protesting this decision. The creators of Ning assume it will be an easy transition from an ad-supported to user-supported revenue model, but one EdLabber has already pointed out how difficult it can be to get users to pay for service. Some additional details about the switch are included below.

  • Free accounts will not be shut down immediately. Users will have 10 weeks to choose a paid product.
  • Ning will offer a range of products at the high and low price range that will (supposedly) be affordable for large sites and teachers alike.
  • Users of the current paid service represent 75% of Ning’s traffic.
  • The new site will have a mobile option and the opportunity for account holders to make money from ads.