Ning throws out free users. Who could have thought?

OK, I could see that happen again. I wrote about it here and here back in 2008.

Today Ning served as a ridiculously classic example of the problem that we effectively solve at WackWall. In short: With hosted social network providers 1) you don’t own your data, 2) you can be thrown out any day.

When we launched WackWall we thought it wasn’t even worth starting with a mission statement “like Ning but better”. This is what all others seem to pursue. So now every other social network provider says “we promise we will never do that to you”. Really? Even if it makes perfect business sense?

The reality is you can’t trust any hosted provider when they promise to maintain and support you for free for life. You can’t trust even us.

However with WackWall the whole situation changes because we are open source. You can go completely independent without a day of downtime and without users even noticing the move. You can do that on your own initiative not necessarily waiting for atrocities, Ning-style. Again, read and understand what our focus is:

Imagine if Ning gave you its software and contents of your site in full? So you could set it up on your own server so nobody would notice a single change? This is what WackWall is about.

Thanks god, we are a private and profitable company. We do not need to justify stratospheric investment and market valuations. Nor do we have to support 200 employees – I wonder what they all would do.

That’s all fine. How can WackWall help Ning refugees NOW?

Today we checked our support email to find the shower of inquiries about migration from Ning to WackWall. That is why I want to share how we plan to help.

Within the following week we hope to have a completely automated Ning migration tool. We reviewed our development plan and decided we had to give this task the first priority. Send us your export data so we can help you get up on your feet.

If you have any questions, let us know. Browse our support boards for help from employees and happy customers.

Emil Sarnogoev

*Update*: Here is more info about migration and answers to some questions.

*Update 2*: How to migrate your Ning site to WackWall

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45 Responses to Ning throws out free users. Who could have thought?

  1. Pingback: Social Network Specialist

  2. Sugar says:

    I am absolutely appalled that the money word coming before
    people’s enjoyment of having their own corner of the W.W.W.
    I like the look of Wackwall.

  3. Ning refugee says:

    I sure am looking at the solutions you gonna be putting out. I am no tech geek & I certainly dont have the time to invest over n over again with “FREE” service providers.
    So keeping my fingers crossed & awaiting your solution.

  4. Bran says:


    Must thank you for the ray of hope – most important thing for any “refugee” is hope – cetainly with uncertainty in the air. I am sure you will get much feedback – I will send a link back for sure. Yes it is sad that so many non-profit and international Groups will find it hard to sort out this 90day pay or go policy.

    I sincerely hope your team are able to sort out the migration tool will be interested to check back. Most of all thanking you for being there with a word of hope,


  5. This is a Ning Site but i own my own domain. This is mostly a social network involving pets at this time because I pay to have my own domain it is considered Premium. However I also have business site called Frenchie kisses and Flens dogs, I just purchased a domain for it and paid for the premium status to have my domain. If they change what qualifies as premium i could be in trouble. I may need to migrate one or both sites and don’t have a clue how to do that. Will you be providing us with instructions on how to export our data?

  6. JALOQUE says:

    Yo tambien espero su información para la solución del “cerrojazo” de Ning.
    Tengo una Red muy especial, que cuido mucho en todo.
    Es creativa, de buen ambiente, original y con proyectos ya realizados como editora de grupo..
    Espero continuar mi idea de marqueting cultural creativo inverso al habitual, o sea irradiando de dentro de la Red hacia el exterior.
    Un saludo
    Conchita Ferrando de la Lama
    Jaloque Creaciones Ning

  7. norbert says:

    just signed up loving it already. ning was good but wow this was lame.

  8. Another ning refugee says:

    How do we send you our export data so you can help us get on our feet? Thank you!

  9. MaxFanatic says:

    If we already set up a site with WackWall before we read this message can will I be able to move the Ning site onto the WackWall server, to the same site that I just set up? Or do I need to create a new one to accommodate the Ning one?

  10. Looking forward to the roll out of your new transition tool.
    Ning has made a bad move and this is starting to feel like home.Will check back soon for updates.Thank You WackWall

  11. TAZA says:

    I feel affected yes, by NING troubles.
    love for all here.

  12. TAZA says:

    Apart of 80 groups, I have at least 3 honorable places of my own. I can accept everything, but it does not mean i will accept being offended and lose all my work.
    Thank you.

  13. Millie Toups says:

    May the God & Goddess Bless you, Mr.Emil Sarnogoev
    Thank you from giving me a home!

  14. gruppo83 says:

    I just created our free site at a month ago, just to know it will not be free anymore after May 4th. what a disappointment for us

  15. Bob Carper says:

    There is a time to sit back, watch what other folk are doing, and then go with the flow.

    Then, there is a time to take action. That time is now.

    The Ning announcement could not have happened at a worse time. Two weeks ago, I was nearly hospitalized as a result of taking vitamin/mineral supplements without first checking in with my family doctor. I had no sooner recovered than I began reading about Ning’s intention to go to an all premium service, effective May 4.

    I own five Ning sites, and have just started putting together ideas about a sixth Ning site. All this will end on May 4. The time to Take Action, therefore, is now.

    I looked on Google for the search topic, “Free-Social-Networking-Sites. I hit a treasure bucket. Many website operators are starting to advertise their offerings as an alternative to the fallen Ning sites. Personally, I think Ning shot themselves in the foot.

    How I found your site was outside of the Google search. One of your newest customers, Country Roads, has already migrated from Ning to WackWall. I’m a member at Country Roadsso I checked out their website. It was awesome. It was enough incentive for me to join WackWall. I will do this as soon as I sign off on this note.

    Bob Carper

  16. annique says:

    im trying to establish a site here but it makes it difficulet im no comp geek mind u
    i dont know how to invite or how to getmy stuff over here from ning
    and what is this google addy thing that u need to invite ppl
    i sure wish u were not closed over the weekend so i could get some help

  17. MaDbOuTiT says:

    My friend and I have a site and we can’t afford that nor can we make members pay to use it.

  18. Graciela says:

    Lamentablemente, me pasa lo mismo que a una de las personas que escribiò mas arriba. Tengo una hermosa red que no querrìa perder, es mas, les rogarìa me tengan al tanto si es posible transpolar toda la info desde allà a aquì.
    Desde ya, les agradecerìa que me informaran… antes de la hecatombe…
    Mil gracias.

  19. Rhea Listick says:

    This is gonna be Awesome!!!! I cant wait for the tool:-) I have been following this site for a while and always wante to migrate, but didnt know how. Now all my friends can have a new home and piece of mind. I just hope this all work out, and not overwhelming. Please folks be patient and let this network develop more. And be mindful on who you let join your networks!!! LOVE RHEA:-)


  20. Helena Sousa says:

    The same problem as others here

  21. Pingback: Ning to WackWall. Clarification. | WackWall Blog

  22. RevRon says:

    Wackwall takes a little “playtime” with navigation but once you have clicked every tab and link to ‘see what it does’ I am having a blast with this new service. I only regret not getting it sooner.

  23. Diva JC says:

    Thanks for this alternative to a really “wack” situation.

  24. Es ist zu einer bekannten Zeitschrift sein, voll von Celebrity Gossip, Style-Tipps, etc. Suggest so viele wie du willst, aber ich würde gerne wissen, was man Ihrer Meinung nach die beste ist. Hilfe bitte!

  25. Pingback: 9 Free Ning Alternatives And Some Open Source Solutions - Jon Bishop

  26. peralta says:

    Does wackwall have the same 10GB storage for free.

  27. Isma says:

    I’m really upset about NIng as a group owner .They even did not bother to send me an email about their coming changes. I do understand that they need to make money . This is why we got all the adverbs on our free sites. I know from other social sites, like Myspace , ect.. that they are making Millions of $$$ or£££ from this advertisements. In fact we ( site owners, bloggers) are the ones that are providing them with the space , content and people to earn money… So I really don’t understand the whole thing with NINg or perhaps what is going on with most social networking sites..
    Have a good evening :)

  28. Pingback: New release: Ning import tool + status updates | WackWall Blog

  29. Dragonfire says:

    OMG THANK YOU!! I have had many sites on ning, i liked ning, but i dont want to pay for it! I love wackwall and i want to thank you for making it so we can import members! so nao i dont have to wait for my older members to join!

  30. Gary Rocha says:

    I will be needing some help to migrate my main CABW site plus two other associated sites. All help will be welcome. I am 78 and not to swift … lol

  31. Darshana says:

    Hi TAZA! :D. I have a paid site on Ning with almost 900 members. Ning has ALOT of bugs and downtime. I pay $30/month for what?????? I am a professional web developer, but design & SEO (I don’t do server side scripting). I can afford some money for hosting. I haven’t made any formal announcement to my members, however I’m pretty much set on migrating. It’s just a matter of choosing the platform

  32. Hi everyone.

    I tried to do a wackwall site without success.
    Firstly, the right hand side disappears off the screen because
    the whole page is more than 1024pixels wide.
    Members pages cannot be set out like they can be set out on Ning.
    I tried to submit a feedback about this, but when I got to the GetSatifaction bit, I could not sign up because it said ‘ email already registered ‘. So I went to log in using my password.
    Being it came up wrong password, I clicked reset password and it said, email not recognised.
    So I couldn’t do anything.
    For me, the option for the basic ning style set up would be ideal.

    So what are the chances of getting a simple basic set up in a short space of time because time is getting short.
    There creators on Ning who want to be able to duplicate the sites they have, albeit with minor differences.
    What we do need is to be able to raise a ticket for an email response to any queries.

    Take care.
    Bless you one and all.
    Many of my members are like me, the older side of life and not very good with computer wizardry.

  33. Joyson | Ning Alternatives says:

    So there won’t be the option of just having a free ning network?

  34. Rose (ning user & owner) says:

    this sucks im on 253 nings & i own 5 of them when they start to make us pay im out and so are all my friends

  35. Chris Shendo says:

    Not only is Ning throwing out their free users, users who only use partial features are being thrown out by their new pricing structure. I currently use the domain name redirection at $4 a month, and to get LESS features than I have now, I must pay 20 a month, and still cannot redirect my page. I expect your website to grow exponentially due to this. I am currently shopping social network creators, and yours has jumped to the top of the list.

  36. Pingback: Migrate from Ning to WackWall | WackWall Blog

  37. Derek says:

    Thank you Wackwall. I have signed up for an account today for our old class of 1958 to share their memories and experiences. I have just messaged them all and hopefully, as soon as the majority has responded to my message, I can set up a new forum for us here.
    Derek. .

  38. emma says:

    bueno cree una red en este sitio para servicio de Dios y de la iglesia de cristo y por algunas razones no puedo pagar la cuota que ellos estan pidiendo.

  39. Pingback: » 9 Free Ning Alternatives And Some Open Source Solutions

  40. PJ says:

    I don’t know what wacwall will be like yet (not signed up -yet- but it looks seomwhat promising and a google search for ‘wackwall scame’ brings up nothing (on the first page anyway) about wackwall being a scam) but the decision will backfire – mark my words.


    When a person puts greed before sense, they generally lose out – eventually at least.

    1. Ning is forcing everyone to start using premium packages. Why? Money. 75% or more of their traffic ALREADY came from people who had chosen premium, so it’s not like they were losing out by also offering a free service – they were making plenty of money, but they were (and are) greedy for more.

    2. At the same time as switching to only offering preimum services, they have cut their staff drastically. This means that there are now less people to support premium users (as evidenced by the wording of an e-mail I received today after asking about deleting my account on there – basically saying because of staff reduction it may take longer to answer my e-mail, and that it will be ignored if they think my question is answered on the site – chances are they will think that, but the delete link isn’t working for me).

    This means a slower response to paying customers and a likely less effective response due to staff morale being lower because of the cuts – leading to paying customers taking their custom elsewhere.

    So not only were ning already getting money from over 75% of their users, not only do they want to attempt to grab more money by throwing out 15% of their users (or attempting to force them to buy premium), not satisfied with that, they want to grab even more money by sacking staff – the very staff who would have helped the company “focus” on their paying customers as they claimed they wanted to to!

    So this plan of the new CEOs will backfire. Mark my words.

  41. PJ says:

    Man that was seriously sloppy writing :-)

  42. mharjungamus says:

    hope this migration tool will be realized. because i am one of the thousands of ning creator would like to transfer here at wackwall

  43. It was a painful lesson – glad that comes to the rescue, so not all is lost :-)


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