Leading social network provider Ning is phasing out its free option for social network creators.
In an email today, Ning CEO Jason Rosenthal wrote that the company will be phasing out all free Ning networks. In its FAQs, the company announced that it was focusing 100% on paid solutions.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. The lowest tier of pricing is $3 per month. Presumably the company did its market research and found this price point would minimize loss of users.
That said, any cost is going to deter experimentation and innovation. Social media’s dramatic rise to the forefront of the Web has been driven partly by the plethora of free applications. Ning has played a significant role in making that happen.
How long will it be before another free social network application (as easy to set up and use as Ning) emerges?