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LiveJournal Removes Ad-Free Account Option

One semi-unique feature that LiveJournal had was its advertising free account option, but as of today it seems that option will no longer be around.

Details from ReadWriteWeb say:

SUP, the Russian company that recently acquired LiveJournal, angered a substantial number of its users last week by instituting the policy before discussing it publicly and going against the advice of at least two members of the company’s new high profile advisory committee.

LJ’s pricing structure has long been unique among major social networks; none of its competitors allow users to avoid ads or pay for an ad-free and feature-rich account. It appears that the company has given up on that unique approach and chosen the ubiquitous ad-centric path to monetization, itself of questionable effectiveness in monetizing some social networking platforms.

Am I surprised that they had to go this route? Not really, as blogging software like LiveJournal is expensive to maintain, service, and update, and the staff deserves decent compensation for their work. I think they would have been better off taking a page from TypePad and WordPress.com by instituting more paid options rather than taking in more ad-supported methods to generating revenue.

What will happen to LiveJournal as it heads down this road? Will accounts already using the free with no ads version be grandfathered, or will they be exposed to ads?

If you are a LiveJournal user, please chime in, as I’d love to hear what you think of these recent developments.

Categories: Blog Software

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Comments

  1. Malin says: 3/26/2008

    I’m not sure what I think about it. Seeing ads on every blog is almost standard today, but I have always liked LJ for the ad-free account. I’m a bit split on this point actually…

    Reply

  2. Brad Hart says: 4/11/2008

    I really don’t think it will make a big difference in the functionality of LJ. I popped over to the site to see what a friend posted the other day and wasn’t logged in to my paid account so I saw ads on the right hand side of the page. They were pretty much unintrusive and I barely noticed them unlike the number of ads I see everywhere else.

    I already blogged on this last night , but here’s a rehash with that advertising in mind.

    This little bit of advertising shouldn’t discourage people from going out getting or maintaining their current LJ though. I crosspost to all three of my blogs to my LJ and get a small amount of traffic from it. Last night though I started drawing some major traffic to all of my blogs, and couldn’t really figure out what I did to make my adsense impression go up over 2k in less than an hour. Low and behold I found Google had indexed my LJ aggregate with the latest idol results in minutes of it going online, which led people back to my other blogs. I am still on the front page of a couple of result searches and likely based on the traffic was the top spots for a while.

    What does all that mean? LJ is still a trusted site for many people and if you use it right will be a boon for your other blogs, especially with the wordpress cross posting plugin for LJ

    Reply

  3. Svetlana Gladkova says: 7/17/2008

    Looks like what you could not predict in the last paragraphs is that LiveJournal will be forced by the users’ revolt to restore the basic accounts. So now that it happened (link under my name in the comment), it would have been very interesting to know your opinion.

    Reply

  4. falur says: 9/6/2008

    I, as a 5 year livejournal user, find this ridiculous; it was all happy and wonderful, those ads are not even well positioned and ruins the layout of the page.
    Now a lot of people is changing of service to blogspot, wordpress or tumblr.

    Reply

  5. sera says: 10/22/2008

    I’ve complained to them already – it messes with the functionality of my html (page design) and it’s embarrassing for ads to be displayed side by side with my artwork. I’ve decided to invest in a website instead and will be switching to referring everyone to my website rather than blog because of that factor.

    I also paid for an account on another personal livejournal and almost did the same for my art livejournal but found out that no matter what if not in my personal journal, ads will still be displayed on other’s.

    Reply

  6. mikeyaozm says: 9/19/2009

    I also paid for an account on another personal livejournal and almost did the same for my art livejournal but found out that no matter what if not in my personal journal

    Reply

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