We have a few announcements today.
First, we're excited to announce that we are going to make Protected Posting part of our free Classic offering, so that everyone can have an unlimited number of people on their Protected List. In other words, you will no longer have to upgrade to Premium in order to share a protected post with more than 10 people.
This is part of our ongoing effort to better support Protected Posts. For example, we recently added a feature that ensures that protected posts appear in other people's feeds and in the mobile app.
Before you ask, we’ve been dying to add Multiple Protected Lists to the site for the longest time and this is a big priority for us. Why haven't we done this already?
We Want To Add More Privacy Features Without Hurting Xanga
Well, adding features like more Protected Lists (and related things like Signin Lock, Footprints Lock and Friends Lock) usually ends up lowering Xanga's revenues.
These privacy features have been immensely popular and have quickly become widespread throughout Xanga. As our users have embraced these features though, it's become difficult for us to run a sustainable community — especially given our ad-supported revenue model. It's just hard to grow Xanga with so much of the community’s blog posts hidden away.
I also think the feeling of community has also suffered; I can't count the number of times someone has subbed to me and when I clicked over to check out their site, I found out that it's Friends Locked.
We Want To Keep Offering Locks
We've really wrestled with how to address this issue. Our current path isn't sustainable, so we're at a fork in the road. After brainstorming as a team, we've realized we're looking at two distinct paths:
- Stop offering locks over time
- Keep offering locks, but find a revenue model which supports them
You've probably noticed there are a number of websites that are going down path #1: reducing the amount of privacy options and locks available on their site over time. That's not a path any of us really want to go down.
That leaves path #2: keep offering locks and our extensive privacy options, but find a revenue model which supports them. We considered making locks available only to our Premium users: this would let us invest in more privacy options. In addition to Multiple Protected Lists, we also want to add IP-based Geography Locks, so you can ban particular IPs (die trolls!) or even “anyone in New Jersey” (or whatever state your ex lives in). But we felt strongly that we wanted to find a way that our free Classic members could keep using locks.
Our Solution: Free Locks For All, But With Pageview Caps
Finally we came up with a solution that we felt balanced all of the above: Free Locks For All, But With Pageview Caps. We’re still sifting through the data to figure out a reasonable cap - ideally we can find one that may not even impact many of you. Whatever the specific cap turns out to be, here’s how it would work:
- Classic Member That Doesn’t Use Locks: This wouldn’t affect your site.
- Classic Member That Uses Locks: We’re trying to find a pageview cap that wouldn’t affect most users, who would continue to get free usage of locks on their sites. But if you had more views than the cap, your site would become viewable only by you until the next month (or until you upgrade your site). Please note that you could still view and update your site in the meantime!
- Premium Members: Whether or not you use Locks, your blog would be unaffected by this change.
Or Possibly No Pageview Caps at All? A Way for the Community to Work Together
One of the things we hear most often about Xanga is how it has such a strong sense of community. Almost every day you see posts on the frontpage about Xangans helping each other out in times of need. And we wanted to find a way to embrace that sense of community.
So in addition to being able to upgrade your own site at any time to get rid of any pageview caps (and get all the other features that come with premium), we thought we’d set an overall premium goal (e.g. say, 5 % of active users upgrading?) that the whole community could work toward reaching together.
If the overall premium goal is met in any given month, then we could remove the pageview caps on *all* locked sites - even non-premium sites - for that month (or perhaps for the subsequent month, so Xanga gets a full month of benefits from reaching this goal).
Remember, our goal is to be able to invest in major upgrades to the site and to our mobile apps (which are exploding in usage). For example, as we mentioned earlier, we’re dying to add Multiple Protected Lists to the site and will finally be able to do so. These upgrades would benefit everyone, so we thought it’d be nice to provide a way for the whole community to work together toward making them possible.
Nothing is going to change for at least a month or so. We wanted to give everyone an early heads up, and also provide a way for you to purchase premium through our mobile app (we’re working on this now - especially important for our users who don't have access to credit cards.) We anticipate this will take at least a month or so, so nothing will change until June at the earliest.
We Believe in Xanga
It's been a dozen years since we launched Xanga.com. There have been ups and downs along the way, and most of our competitors have sold out (either financially or in other ways). We've stuck with Xanga over the years because we firmly believe that it’s a great and unique site With your help and support, we hope to make it even better!
Marc and the Xanga Team
I'm not a premium member and I don’t use locks or protected posting. Does this affect my site?
I’m not a premium member and I *do* use locks, but my site doesn’t get many pageviews per month. Does this impact my site?
Probably not. We’re still sifting through the data to settle on a specific monthly pageview cap. But we’re hoping to find a reasonable cap that doesn’t impact too many users.
I’m not a premium member, I *do* use locks and my site gets a good number of pageviews per month. How does this impact my site?
Once your site has reached the monthly pageview cap (we’re still determining the specific cap - see previous FAQ), your site will be viewable only by you. You can still update and view your own site and wait for the next month for the cap to reset. Or you can upgrade to premium, and your site cap will be reset to infinity.
I'm not a premium member and don't use any locks, but I *do* use protected posting. Does this impact me?
When these updates go into effect, all classic members will now have an unlimited number of users in their Protected List. Please keep in mind that pageviews of protected posts *will* count towards monthly pageview caps for classic members. Again though, we’re currently sifting through the data to try to find a reasonable monthly pageview cap, so this should not affect most of our users.