Hotornot Converts back to paid.

Here is an email Hotornot Sent out saying they are going back to paid because of fake profiles and scammers.   

I think its more about money,   as a free site  I earn millions,   as a paid site  I would earn around 100 Million a year given my membership.   I would suspect the game plan is to focus on facebook apps to send traffic to hotornot and then make a lot of money off memberships again.   I can’t see to many free site competitors in the future,   as there is just way more money in being a paid site.

******************************
Dear loyal HOTorNOT star members,Based on feedback we got from many of you, we have decided to start requiring star memberships on HOTorNOT again. While many of you saw how going free would be good, you also warned us that this would probably lead to more spammers and fake profiles.

You were right, this is exactly what happened. The spammers got aggressive to the point where they were screwing up the system, even causing the “someone wants to meet you” emails to not be sent for periods as long as 5 days.

We don’t really regret trying to make the site free so everybody can use it, but it’s clear that most of our users believe an inexpensive paid site works better than a free site filled with spammers.

If you left the site after we went free, we hope you’ll come back and join again. If you are still here, we hope turning subscriptions back on has a noticable impact for you, helping you meet more people without having your time wasted by the spammers.

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/09/18/hot-or-not-abandons-free-model

http://valleywag.com/tech/hotornot/dating-site-not-so-hot-with-advertisers-300983.php

20 Responses to “Hotornot Converts back to paid.”

  1. jdrescue Says:

    What??…You didn’t give me credit for the email i sent you telling you about this?..lol

  2. Markus Frind opina de los sitios de pago | Charlie Says:

    […] de Cervantes tenemos a Sexyono — el cual ha vuelto a pasarse de nuevo a ser de pago, según comenta Markus en su blog que ha leído un email sobre el tema de […]

  3. Markus Says:

    I had a bunch of people forward it to me. That email must have gone out to millions of users. I got it sent to me as well.

  4. Andy Says:

    “I can’t see to many free site competitors in the future, as there is just way more money in being a paid site.”

    I’ve not been reading this blog lately, but back when I did, I recall you talking about how all types of paid sites would likely be losing market to smaller operations like yourself, with income derived primarily from third-party contextual ad brokers like adsense.
    Has your thinking on this changed?

  5. John Says:

    Wow I would think this is a real credibility killer for James Hong after he announced the free site only a short while ago? So, have you changed your mind on selling out yet? Here is an idea, sell out and start the next killer social net with me! Kindest from the North Shore!

  6. Mark Devlin Says:

    If you could make $100m from converting to paid why wouldn’t you?

  7. Ralph C. Says:

    In my opinion Markus is having way to much fun with the massive media attention, and for a person that never had any media coverage is worth 100M and more.
    Markus know that right after he sales for 50, 100, 200 or any number of Millions it will be the date people will talk about hem.
    Does anyone remember Tom from my space?
    In my opinion, Markus should take all the att he can now and made sure not to be another Tom.

  8. metronicity Says:

    Markus, I reckon one of the big attractions for your site is that it’s FREE. We all love free stuff and we hate paying for shit that doesn’t work too well. Why not give people the option – and give them something more for their money on the paid version but still keep it inexpensive. But what would I know – you’re the genius. You absolutely blow me away. BTW you might want to fix the spelling in the second para – “too many site competitors”. I dig this blog of yours. Malkie, Paris. Welcome to Wallyworld

  9. JT Says:

    I’m fairly sure I’m on the record thinking it was madness. Actually I suggested if he was so sure of it, why not start a separate site to do this, instead of killing his cash cow?

    Now he’s back to where he started, yet down a bunch ’cause he’s sharing equity w/ programmers. Poor SOB.

  10. Zoltan Says:

    Spam and scam is definitely an issue on everything that is free and popular. We have ways to detect spam and scam on our free sites but they can never be eliminated 100%. Markus, I am wondering what do you do to to fight scam and spam? Can you please share some of your thoughts?

  11. Marc Says:

    looks like the model didn’t work for them. making it free did not drive in the traffic they were hoping for, while their revenues dropped. they missed the boat on that one and have seen their popularity eclipsed by plentyoffish, facebook, myspace etc.

    judging by the response of James on valleywag it seems that it’s a sore subject for him. HotorNot is a great property but they stayed with the paid model too long and it could have been a much larger site. It will continue to be a cash cow but it’s traffic will continue to go down over time.

  12. Madoo Says:

    I’m sorry that HotorNot.com didn’t explore the freemium model. In europe there are very large sites like Netlog and Badoo which are doing this and somehow managing to keep the spam and scam down.

    I think the key is to think long and hard about how you are going to police a free site. I have to admit that I don’t use PoF so I dont know how you deal with it Marcus…although I hear its part of your secret sauce! ))

  13. Slinky Says:

    Hot or Not are lucky they’re not controlled by VC’s – they can adapt as they see fit.

  14. Zoltan Says:

    Is it possible that the converting to free anouncment about 3-4 months ago was just a nice way to get the attention of media? Instead of announcing, we will offer 3 months of free memberships to everyone from July to September, they simply anounced a conversion to free… this has been picked up by the media and they gained many new visitors / members. Am I wrong?

  15. mitesh Says:

    definitely thr’s more money to be a paid site. anyhow in future due to e-globalization free sites will be totally unavailable

  16. orange county escorts Says:

    too many fake profiles on there

  17. No prescription needed Fluoxetine drug! Says:

    Now, what a nice beginning but i’m going to check into that a tad more. Will show you just what else i have found.

  18. FEROMONAS Says:

    I would convert to paid too

  19. http://www.loveforboth.com Says:

    There are fake profiles even on paid dating sites

  20. viagra Says:

    You should take part in a contest for one of the best websites online.
    I’m going to recommend this blog!

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