Ning's Big Announcement May 4, 2010 - Details and What Are Your Thoughts?

Ning Update: Introducing Ning Pro, Ning Plus and Ning Mini

Please share your thoughts on today's big announcement.



Visit us in the Chat room, upper right next to Breaking News.

Article was originally posted by Eric Suesz on May 4, 2010 at 8:03am on Ning Creators Site

Our CEO, Jason Rosenthal, just posted a blog post about our upcoming plans and pricing. I thought I would reprint it here
for Creators. 

I’m excited to introduce three new versions of the Ning Service that we will roll out in July. When we announced two weeks ago that we were going to refocus on paying Ning Networks and phase out our free service, we knew there would be many questions about what the new Ning would look like. Our goal with these offerings — as explained below — is to enhance the experience Network Creators have on Ning, and by extension, the experiences your members have as well. 

What will we be rolling out in July? We’ll start with many of the things Network Creators have been asking for and extend the service from there. The end of Ning promotional links, leading to a more customized, branded experience for you and your members. An ad free experience and the option to run your own ads — if you like. Easy content export and back-up. The end of Ning ID and ability to add Facebook and Twitter sign-in. API access for a more integrated experience. The ability to charge for membership and accept donations. We’ve listened to your more frequent and pressing requests and combined them with our current premium services into three new product offerings — Ning Pro, Ning Plus and Ning Mini.

For full comparison of the three plans, click here.

Our pricing plans offer incredible value relative to our current Premium Services. For example, your Ning Network currently has the option to Use Your Own Domain, Remove Create Links, and Run Your Own Ads. You can take advantage of all of these services for about $55/month right now.
With the Ning Plus, you’ll be able to have them all for $19.95/month. We will also offer current Network Creators a one-time annual pricing discount that provides even greater value.

We also recognize that many small non-profit, family or other small group Ning Networks have limited budgets, and we value what you’ve created on Ning. For $2.95/month or $19.95/year, Ning Mini provides a powerful set of features to continue to grow and engage with your members — ad-free or with your own ads.

We’ve also heard from many Network Creators who use Ning in the classroom as an integral part of their curriculum. I am particularly excited to announce that a major education company will be sponsoring Ning Mini Networks for educators in primary and secondary education. Ning will remain free for K-12 educators and their students. We’ll have details on this program soon!

We will roll out Ning Pro, Ning Plus and Ning mini in July. Current Network Creators will have 30 days following the roll-out to decide which plan best fits their needs. For Ning Creators using our free
service who choose to move to another service, we will offer a simple way to export all of your content.

We know there’s a lot of questions, including how to choose a plan, when you can sign up and what happens if you don’t choose an option. That’s why we’ve created a place with all the details about this new offering, including details, a timeline and FAQs (also available in Spanish, here). I look forward to your feedback, both in the comments below and on Creators."

Announcement

In July, we will roll-out three new pricing plans and begin phasing out our free service. Many of you chose the Ning Platform to build your communities because it’s the easiest to use, has the most
reliable performance and easily scales to hundreds of thousands of members. Our shift to a paid service model will enable us to focus to a greater degree on enhancing the features, performance and services we offer to our paying Network Creators. You’ll immediately see greater control over your network branding, design and member experience. All three plans
offer an incredible value relative to our current premium services offerings.


Ning MiniThe simplest and fastest way to set up a social network for your classroom, community group, small nonprofit or family Ning PlusThe tools and features you need to build and grow a branded social network with high engagement – an incredible value at a great price Ning ProThe ideal solution for building a comprehensive social experience, including additional features, integration, support and bandwidth
$2.95/month
or $19.95/year* (save 44%)
$19.95/month
or $199.95/year* (save 16%)
$49.95/month
or $499.95/year* (save 17%)
Up to 150 members Unlimited members Unlimited members

Full control over your branding and member experience Full control over your branding and member experience
Features include blogs, photos, forum and video embeds Full feature set including events, groups, chat, pages and Ning Apps Full feature set plus video and music uploads and branded players
Simple customization options Advanced customization options including CSS, Javascript and the Language Editor Advanced customization options, plus the API access upgrade when launched
Includes run your own ads Includes run your own ads, use your own domain and remove Ning links Includes run your own ads, use your own domain, remove Ning links and add storage and bandwidth
Community-based support Help Center support Premium support

* One-time annual pricing


For full comparison of the three plans, click here.


Features You’ve Been Asking For

For Ning Pro and Ning Plus customers, we are excited to deliver a number of new features that give you greater control:

  • Replace the Ning ID with your custom network ID
  • Remove all Ning branding
  • Up to 25 text boxes and 25 RSS feeds on your home page
  • Text boxes in the header and footer
  • Member statistics
  • Controls to hide invite, share, Facebook or Twitter links, turn off private messaging and strengthen member verification

Even better? Once we launch these new packages, we’ll begin to add the features and options that are most important to you, including API access; sign-in with Facebook, Twitter or your own authentication
system (a.k.a. single sign-in); and a way to charge members for joining
your Ning Network.



Your Content and Data

When we launch the new pricing plans in July, we will add an automated content export option to the manage page of each Ning Network. You will have 30 days after the launch to choose one of the three new
plans or export your content.


Timeline


  • May 4: Announce new suite of premium offerings
  • July: Launch new packages and notify all Network Creators via email and announcement banner.
  • Launch + 30 days: Grace period for existing Ning Networks to purchase one of the pricing plans.


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Here is a comparative chart for price references purposes but let me ask this simple question ; I f ning is cutting back 40% in employees how in the heck are they going to be able to be efficient and available 24/7 like The Majority of the other plans offered ???? also fragmentation of the price scales and charges will result in More Time Spent collecting from different sources and less time spent helping out customers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me see if I understand this. My site is a music site. Of course I cant go with the mini as I have almost 200 members and growing daily..But even with the pro, I can no longer upload music?? Thats where my members get their music out and get known.. My admins were discussing to go ahead and pay the top package, but if we can no longer upload our music, it pretty much takes the point away.. I hope I am reading this wrong..

Erich Graywolf, Kokopelli Page
I think that the new plans are ok and affordable, I have a Candle Making, Soap & Crafters site and as of now I dont have over 150 members so as of now the first plan would be great for my ning community, as it grows I will update plans as needed but as far as it goes for now, I'm Happy with the mini, nothing has changed because we only use Features as blogs, photos, forum and video embeds, so thats great, they didnt mention chat though? will chat stay? if not I can always get free ones, etc, also I get to run my own ads, Also with the mini do I still have to get my own domain or not? Do anyone know? Thanks
I guess network creators will still lose some major data if they decide to stay and choose the Ning Mini. If you have groups filled with content and the Mini does not offer the features of chat, groups, events, or notes/pages you may have to find a way to back up all of that content as you will no longer have access to the features you are currently using.

I think the best way is to host your own website and content because it's also possible that if these price points or changes are not as effective for ning it may change again in the future.
Simply join other networks grow your groups there. THINK PEOPLE
ROFLMFAO. Well it will be interesting to see how long this new CEO lasts . . . I wonder if he will make it to the end of Ning, which after this will not be very long at all. Much sooner than even I expected.

Damned shame really.

Ah well, there are already better options.
unless you have an obscenely huge network (bandwidth, storage), nothing in the ning pro package seems to be worth the hefty price tag. i see mention of player branding, but i'd like to be able to make the ning players more sleek and attractive. i hate the ugly players they provide. currently, no amount of customization can make them pretty. and while i know what api access means elsewhere, i'd like to know just what the heck it means here on ning. in short, there doesn't seem to be that big of a difference between plus and pro.
I am paying more than $50 a month now for my site...so I am cool with the pro package. I pay for all of their advanced features already.
I guess I will upgrade to pro to have my members the luxury of being able to upload videos directly, instead of going to an outside source and then back to my network to embed.

Jen, is what I am reading right about API access going to cost extra, other than the pro price?
Wow, excellent point. I didn't even catch that wording until you asked:
"...API access upgrade when launched"
So, the question is, will API access be more? I don't know the answer to that. If I hear anything I'll announce it here.
Best,
Jen
Hi what is API Service and what does it do?
Sharing Content is the jest of API

From Wikipedia: Application programming interface, is an interface implemented by a software program to enable its interaction with other software.

User information can be shared from web communities to outside applications, delivering new functionality to the web community that shares its user data via an open API. One of the best examples of this is the Facebook Application platform. Another is the Open Social platform

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