Ning just dropped a deuce on the people who built free social networks on their service: If you want to stay, you have to pay.
After Ning Co-founder and CEO Gina Bianchini was ousted in March, new helmsman Jason Rosenthal has apparently been brought on board to cut the dead weight and steer the company in a more profitable direction. In an internal memo to employees, Rosenthal wrote:
“So, we are going to change our strategy to devote 100% of our resources to building the winning product to capture this big opportunity. We will phase out our free service. Existing free networks will have the opportunity to either convert to paying for premium services, or transition off of Ning. We will judge ourselves by our ability to enable and power Premium Ning Networks at huge scale. And all of our product development capability will be devoted to making paying Network Creators extremely happy.”
Not only have they decided to shut down the free aspect of their service, the company will also be dumping about 70 employees. [Read more…]