Multiply's Solution to Monetization? Charge People!

While the debate over how to generate landslide revenues from social networks continues, believe that they’ve figured out a good solution for making money: charging its users for premium accounts. Caroline McCarthy explains the service, “Called a ‘digital scrapbook,’ this premium feature will cost $19.95 annually.” The digital scrapbook offers storage for high resolution images and 20 minute videos.

This new service appears to compete directly with Flickr. So how does Multiply compare itself to Facebook? Executives at the company like to avoid the “F-word” but in comments to Caroline McCarthy at, Vice President Michael Gersh said “It’s much more organized and meaningful than some explosive megasite.” It sounds more to me like he is comparing the site to MySpace rather than Facebook.

The site appears to be experiencing sustained growth and its user base is extremely active, uploading millions of photos, videos and blog posts every day. Whether or not the site is as big as Facebook or MySpace, charging members for premium services makes a lot of sense. Would you pay to be a member of a social network? How about pay for premium services?