Will Automattic Launch a Hosted BuddyPress to Replace Ning?

Ning users were less than happy when the niche social network provider announced that they where ending their popular free service and forcing everyone to either pay up ($4.95-$24.95 per month) or leave the service.

The most-suggested alternative is none other than BuddyPress, the “social networking in a box” system built atop of WordPress.

This lead me to an interesting thought. While I generally advocate the purchasing of one’s own domain and hosting, this isn’t always within the financial or skill range of the individual seeking to launch a small social network for a group of friends. I wonder if Automattic has thought to capitalize on Ning’s mass exodus of users by launching a hosted BuddyPress service, a la WordPress.com?

It doesn’t sound all that far-fetched of an idea. Of course, I don’t pretend to know what the Other Matt and company deem to be a smart business move. I also don’t know if they would consider the platform to be mature enough yet.

Anyway, if Automattic doesn’t do it, I imagine some enterprising developer would sooner or later.

  • http://austinpassy.com TheFrosty

    The thoughts and ideas, especially after the last
    two days in SF for WordCamp…

    Should have asked Matt that very question, then jumped at a byisiness opp.

  • http://asakelate.ning.com alisabki

    i dont care if automattic launch it.
    im on my way to make it available soon via fanclub.my

  • http://www.ktvz.com Barney Lerten

    YES! I’ve been waiting FOREVER for them to make BuddyPress something that works through WordPress.com – even if it has to be a more limited one in terms of functionality, they would RULE.

    I’m sure it’s not a simple task, but … there’s a huge gap between old forum software, too loosey-goosey things like Ning and… well, I guess I am asking for something for nothing, but like I said, even if it was a simplified subset that you had to buy add-ons for, it sounds like a natural to me.