No More Free Rides at Ning: Pay Up or Leave

April 16, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Ning, the popular social networking platform that allows users to create free networks on any topic they choose, except porno, has now decided to throw the freeloaders out. Ning announced drastic changes this week, which include abolishing its free networks in favor of paid subscriptions.

Ning is a Silicon Valley based company, co-founded in 2004, by Gina Bianchini, a former financial analyst at Goldman Sachs and Marc Andreessen the founder of Netscape. Based on a free social networking model paid for by advertising, Andreessen, is now taking the company in a different direction. New CEO Jason Rosenthal, put in place after Bianchini recently left the company, informed employees in an internal memo that 40 percent of them would soon be let go. And he added that Ning would now be focusing on paid premium networks. Current users of free networks will have to either pay up or leave Ning and go elsewhere.

After his internal memo was leaked, Rosenthal released a statement to the media:

“Within 90 days, we will launch the next generation of Ning, which will include a range of new premium features and services for our Network Creators, a new mobile experience, and a new set of APIs.” He added that he and Andreessen will “work diligently with everyone affected by this to help them find great opportunities at other companies.”

Ning currently hosts 2.3 million diverse social networks.


7 Responses to “No More Free Rides at Ning: Pay Up or Leave”

  1. Old Man Dotes on April 16th, 2010 12:29 pm

    I’ll leave, then. If I have to pay for a site, I want FAR more control over it than the crappy menu system at Ning offers.

  2. Jason on April 16th, 2010 1:31 pm

    As a member of the nonprofit community, I’m concerned about the impact that this decision will have on charitable and educational institutions. If you share this concern, please take a moment to sign the Change.Org petition to “Keep Ning Free for Nonprofit and Educational Use” at and pass along to friends/colleagues via twitter, facebook, email, etc.

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  4. Oliver on May 7th, 2010 5:38 am

    Another free alternative is, offering functionalities very similar to Ning but with some additions.

    Some of the advantages are:
    – Strong Community Management features (e.g., newsletter system, access control)
    – Powerful sub-groups
    – Full collaboration features including wikis, image albums, file systems, event-management and CMS
    – Advanced customization

    mixxt’s philosophy is different from Ning’s: it is based on White Labeled solutions for large institutions and enterprises, as well as Freemium services.

    mixxt networks are especially popular among education, work-related and event networks.

    Users wanting to import their Ning network to mixxt find a useful tool in our Ning importer (

    Give your own mixxt network a try for free here: (!

  5. Elizabeth on May 18th, 2010 3:42 pm

    That last sentence will soon be “Ning currently hosts 2.3 hundred social networks.”

  6. ack! « The ‘Philosophy with Fries’ Weblog on June 2nd, 2010 1:04 pm

    […] Jeff MacDougall (by the way, nice slogan! ..) founded on ning (ack!) – they absorbed the TMA community after ning went kinda “corporate.” […]

  7. anthony on August 11th, 2010 1:29 am

    if i joing ning will i get paid by drawing memebers on my site ?

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