Ning Freemium Service Shuts Down

Ning, the popular hosted social network service has finally completed the shut down of its Freemium service. This follows an announcement by Ning earlier this year that they shall be turning the service into a completely paid-service in order to make up for the loss of revenues. The loss due to the closure is not expected to be huge – the over 300,000 free communities on Ning contributed to less than 20% of revenue and 25% of traffic. The rest of the revenues were brought in by just the tinier 15,000 groups.

Ning has had a challenging 2010 with the company also laying off close to 40% of its workforce earlier this year. But the plans to shut down its freemium communities and ask these community owners to “pay or leave” appears to have paid off. According to a report, nearly 12% of the communities that were earlier free have now turned into paying customers.

The plans are still affordable though. The basic plan costs less than $3 a month and will be available for communities with less than 150 members. Pro plans are offered at much higher rates of close to $50 a month with additional charges for bandwidth consumption over 200GB.