On May, 4th 2010, Ning, one of the most popular social networking platforms on the web, is phasing out its free service. All free online communities will either be converted into premium online groups or discontinued altogether. As a consequence of the subsequent growing demand for Ning alternatives, this MasterNewMedia guide wants to provide a comprehensive list of other social networking platforms and online group services that can be used as replacements to the Ning community service.
John McDonald, Vice President of Ning, stated clearly on a post on the Ning blog that his company will make new pricing plans effective only in early summer and provide online community owners “a minimum of 10 weeks to transition.”
If you are a Ning community owner, then you only have a limited time left to evaluate whether to remain on Ning or to select one of the social networking Ning-alternatives available on the web.
There are in fact quite a few social networking platforms and online group services that can be utilized as valid alternatives to Ning as these social networking platforms do generally replicate the key basic functionalities offered by Ning-based communities; and they also come in all flavors: free, paid and open-source.
Not only. Some of these social networking platforms have specifically developed a facility to transfer all data of your former Ning group into their platform at no additional cost to you.
In this guide you will find a comprehensive mindmap, two comparative tables, and a set of mini-reviews that will help you evaluate the best Ning alternative for your needs.
Here the criteria I have used for my comparison:
- Member profiles: Personal profile page where users can add a small bio, personal information, a picture and social media connections.
- Blog: Collaborative blog where users can share information with all group members or (if permitted) with only selected group users.
- Forum discussion: Built-in personal forum sporting all standard forum features like threads, reply, forum search and more..
- Shared calendar: Calendar to track shared group activities and events.
- Photo galleries: Uploading and sharing of a collection of pictures and images inside the online group.
- Video: Uploading and sharing of video clips inside the online group.
- Free / Premium: Free and pro starting plan of each social networking platform.
- Extra features: Additional features that further extend what you can do with your own social networking platform.
If you are considering the option of switching to a different social networking platform to replace your soon-to-be discontinued free Ning community, in this MasterNewMedia guide you will find all the data you need to identify your best Ning alternative out there.