Ning allowed for its users to create custom social networking sites that could draw in new members. With these custom sites, Ning was able to find out what their users liked so that they could advertise directly toward them. While many other social networking sites have broad universal advertising, Ning has created the ability to advertise to its users based on their social network. This technique can be of great benefit to investors wishing to advertise on Ning. Ning ways of gaining new users is somewhat like a pyramid scheme, in the manner that it only succeeds by word of mouth from user to user.
Ning actually just made it so that if its users want to be successful, they would have to socialize. They would have to tell their friends about their new discovery and then have their friends sign on. The fact that a Ning user has to sign up and create their account to their custom liking, this method made its users get involved. Now once a user has completed its profile and new network, they now had to market it. After putting that kind of time into creating the network, users wont let it fall apart without at least trying to get others on board. Once those others came on board and saw what was going on and how easy it was, they too would want to create their own network.
Ning launched its website so quickly because of word of mouth. Each user became an advertiser for the website. Ning didn’t need to market because its users wanted it to grow just as badly as they did. Just as many other social networking websites, Ning used the best marketing technique of all, word of mouth. Making your current customers happy will in turn bring more users.
Ning has the advantage of finding out what its users like. By allowing users to create their own networks, it allows Ning to advertise toward that particular network. I personally think that is a genius tactic to use. I can’t see how Ning could fail in trying to use this method. It only makes sense and sounds like a win for the company. However, my concern with this is that social networking users hate to see ads and they hate to spend money. Knowing that your network can get crowded with ads, it will throw many users away from using the system.
MySpace and facebook have tried to better their revenue by allowing advertisers and outside developers to come in and market on their sites to their members. While MySpace actually fell because of this technique that eventually felt like users were being spammed, facebook has created better control over its advertising techniques by keeping it clean (off of wall post and inboxes) and rather placed in away from its users and allowed them to opt out of certain advertisements.
I don’t believe that Ning does have enough to become so huge that it surpasses the competitors of MySpace and Facebook. Facebook now has it so that you can create your own networks of family and friends and when you don’t want someone in your network, you block them off. Your profile is your network. Ning will be attractive to many at the beginning because of its ability and new outtake on the social networking market. However, the reason that facebook became a success over MySpace is because Facebook has the most limits. The more you allow personalization in a social networking site, the worst off it is as many have seen with MySpace which had very little restriction on customizing everything. Facebook and Twitter allowed more time to socialize which is all that many users want. Designers will love Ning for its customizable features, but many who aren’t tech savvy, wont want to touch it. Less is better. Take it from Facebook and Twitter. Ning doesn’t have much opportunity to grow for the average unimportant user. A celebrity or news broadcasting network might have more use from using Ning, but the average person with less than 20-30 people who care enough to join their network, wont find much use in Ning. Ning doesn’t just take a username and picture upload like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook. It’s asking much more from its users and only time will tell if users feel like putting in that time.
The article speaks of Ning being like a Tupperware party. Just like a Tupperware party grows stale after the first person throws the party and cant throw the same party to the same people every week. Ning will also fail to this method. After a while it will only become a stalemate, as its users will realize that a social networking site has to be maintained regularly. A social networking site is a part or full time job; it doesn’t take a two-sentence tweet or status update to keep it going. It takes news updates, articles, podcast, videos, and lots of research. Many users just will find that they don’t have the time to maintain a Ning account.
A benefit of Ning is that those wishing to put together a social networking site =, can do so at an affordable price without having to pay a web developer thousands of dollars to do so. Ning actually just seems like a do it yourself social networking website. Ning isn’t much more than a website building software program. The question is, how many people actually care to build their own website.