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Ning Rebrands Itself as a Paid Social Media Platform

The idea of social media is to give your audience a place where they can share their ideas and you can engage with them on a topic.  This means that some are looking for ways that go beyond Facebook and Twitter.

Ning is one platform that has been in use for a few years. It allows members to create their own social community. They can have individual sub-groups, share updates and get feedback. When it started many individuals and small groups started using this because it was easy and it was free.

Now Ning is looking to transform this original model and focus on going after corporate clients and large non-profits that will pay a fee to use this service. This is a challenge because you are trying to convince an audience who used you for free why they should now pay to continue to use you.

Ning felt the change was necessary to be profitable. The old system relied on an ad-based business model. The changes meant that about 80% of the old clients left Ning because they didn’t want to pay fees.

Today Ning has more than 100,000 paying clients. The revenue is up 400% over last year. The fees have allowed them to add new features such as Facebook Connect and site analytics. They are expecting to be in the black for the first time by the first quarter of 2012.

Custom social media sites are still a new concept and it’s a challenge to lure traffic away from Facebook.But businesses that have the cash and want to find ways to new ways to interact with clients can look at the options Ning can provide.

Join The Conversation

  • mazharshah's picture
    May 24 Posted 3 years ago mazharshah

    Well.. Ning is great network  so for.. But i think its not much relaibel for every users. There we can create free network.

  • CliffFigallo's picture
    May 13 Posted 5 years ago CliffFigallo

    When Ning was developed, it answered the needs of many groups as a template for discussion and content sharing communities. In terms of what had been available before, it was advanced. But at the same time WordPress, Drupal and Joomla began offering their own version of component-based social systems. No one expected something like Facebook to become so ubiquitous, not to mention Twitter and LinkedIn. The global standards for social interchange have displaced the competition for small, segregated social gathering spaces.

    Are there sitll any business opportunities for ventures to learn from Ning and prosper? Will there be?

  • sandeemiller's picture
    May 13 Posted 5 years ago sandeemiller

    I can add from my perspective of having been building ning communities for my clients since 2008, right now most new clients aren't that interested in these communities. Its the rare company that sees a value in putting money into the building and maintaining of these groups. Especially if they already have a website, facebook and twitter.

    Some clients are looking to build on Ning but many of those are using it as their sole website and still using facebook and twitter. But even in this group, most would rather have a site built on Wordpress so they can easily do updates themselves.


  • May 13 Posted 5 years ago Dave Cayem (not verified)

    Ning's shift to pay-to-play is an interesting case study. While their rervenues may be up, their traffic is down. I recently blogged about this:

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