The free ride in social media is coming to an end

As Twitter continues to edge towards more of a business model that will offer something close to a premium level offering, something else caught my eye this week and it was this…

Ning announced that it was doing away with its free product and forcing its existing free networks to either make the change to premium accounts or migrate their networks elsewhere. They also announced that the company has cut almost 70 people —accounting for over 40% of its staff.

In case you don’t know what Ning is:  It’s a service that allows people to join and create social networks. Ning currently has more than 1.9 million Ning Networks created and 40 million registered users.

About 6 months ago, I mentioned on a panel that the free ride of social media had to end at some point. People need to make money with this social media stuff and hopefully it is not a model based on traffic/advertisers.

This is only the beginning.

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