Krissy (ljkrissy) wrote in news,

Introducing a new account level

We're introducing a new account level...
In addition to the Free and Paid levels, we're adding a new account level called Sponsored+.  The Sponsored+ account level is an option for users who want access to premium features but would rather have advertising on their journal and Friends page and in the LiveJournal site than purchase a Paid account.

Here's what the new level looks like:


Free Sponsored+ Paid
Cost Free Free Starting under $2/mo.
Display advertising on your journal and friends page
- check -
Userpics 6 15 30
ScrapBook photo hosting storage
- 1GB 2GB
Post photos and text to your journal via your web-enabled phone or mobile device - check check
Create and customize the look and feel of your journal Limited Limited check
View full comparison chart

In addition to more userpics, mobile and voice posts, and access to ScrapBook photo hosting, Sponsored+ level users can also create their own mood icons and use the domain name forwarding feature.  We've made sure you can keep your system styles without changing them (although if you have a completely custom style you may not be able to use it in the Sponsored+ level).  In the future we plan to add the ability to post polls and access the search directory to the Sponsored+ level.

Who will see advertising on LiveJournal?
Who will see ads on LJ and where?
On the LJ site
On Free/EA journals

On
 Sponsored+ journals

On Paid or Permanent journals
Logged out users or visitors who don't have an LJ account check Ads 
- check Ads -
Free/Early Adopter users
- - check Ads
-
Sponsored+ users
check Ads
- check Ads
-
Paid & Permanent users
- - - -

There are certain sites out there that are overrun with ads of, let's just say, questionable taste.  That's not us. 

It's important to all of us that we offer users an ad-supported experience that's different from those sites.  We want you to have an influence on what kinds of ads you see.  In this beta launch of the Sponsored+ level, you can set your preferred ad categories and help us deliver the most relevant ads to you by adding to your interests list.  We're being picky about the graphic ads we'll accept and are trying to choose advertisers and sponsors that are appropriate to LJ.  This beta launch will include lots of LiveJournal ads, public services ads and Google text ads until we uncover and select additional advertisers who will bring you information you'll want to see.  You can read the first version of our ad guidelines for details on the ad types we'll accept.  We'd like your help to shape this, so there's a feedback link below each ad.


If you want to try out our beta version of the new Sponsored+ level,
click here.  There's no risk, you can switch back and forth.  Try out the extra features and tell us your ideas for improving the level. 

A note about styles:  If you've customized your layout using overrides, your journal might not display properly.  This is because your overrides might no longer apply to the new style code.  If this is happening to you, it's not because ads are broken -- you just need to correct your overrides.  If you need help, please feel free to open up a Support request!

If you're not sure and want to know more, read the FAQs about the Sponsored+ level:

You can read the FAQs about the Sponsored+ level:

The Sponsored+ features and ad customization settings will evolve over the coming months and your participation and feedback will help us make them even better.  Again, there's no risk to trying out the Sponsored+ level -- you can always upgrade to a Paid account or switch back to the Free level.

Brad, the founder of LiveJournal, covered a lot of background about this new level in this post to lj_biz, so if you have further questions or want to understand his thoughts on it, you should take a few moments to read his post


How will the new Sponsored+ level affect Free and Paid account holders?

For Free account holders:  You don't have to display ads on your journal or Friends page or view ads in the LiveJournal site pages.  We're committed to keeping the Free account level available to you, and it's your choice if you'd like to opt in to the Sponsored+ level or purchase a Paid account.  When you surf over to someone's journal who has opted in to the Sponsored+ account level, you will see the ads that are powering the premium features on that Sponsored+ journal.  If you'd like to check out what the beta release of the Sponsored+ level is all about, you can do so here.  There's no risk to check it out -- you can switch back at any time.  If you do choose to stick with the new level, your support will help contribute towards LJ's growth and innovation.

For Paid or Permanent account holders:  Your support has kept LJ alive and growing all these years.  We appreciate your continued support and you will get the most features and the highest storage limits.  You'll never see ads as long as you're logged in, and no one will see ads on your journal whether they're logged in or not.  We're not going to double-dip on you.  In addition, you are the only ones who can earn Loyalty Userpics

If you'd like to get or renew a Paid account, you can set up automatic payments from your credit card or make a manual payment in the Gift Shop.


Now for the DIY part:
We had fun creating some LJ ads for the Sponsored+ level, but we want your help in creating more LJ ads.  Place your creations in the comments to this post and we'll run the best few on the site. Have fun, be sappy, serious or satirical, make fun of us, draw ninjas fighting pirates, whatever; just try to make sure the ads are consistent with our new ad guidelines.  The ad sizes are:  300x250, 160x600 and 728x90.  We'll pick finalists by April 25th and let you vote on them in lj_ads.   Update:  View and vote on the finalists here.
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