The New LJ Basic Accounts

15 August 2008

On 17 July, LiveJournal, Inc, announced the return of Basic Accounts. As previously noted, what was actually happening was that Basic Accounts were going to be replaced with a new sort of account with the same name.

The essentials of the new programme have now been reported:

  • Journals of Basic Accounts will display advertisements to anyone not logged-in, but will not display them to those who are logged-in.
  • New Basic Accounts cannot be directly creäted, but one can creäte new Plus Accounts, and then downgrade these to Basic accounts. (The official report is somewhat confusing on this matter, because it is inconsistent in its conceptualization of Account.) The objective of blocking direct creätion seems to be to get new subscribers to try a Plus Account before trying (and often before discovering) the Basic Account.
The report does not discuss what happens when Permanent Account journals are viewed with Basic Accounts. In the case of community journals where the subscription is internal (eg: lj_2008), banner ads are shown when individual entries are viewed with Basic Accounts. In other cases, ads are not being displayed by Permanent Account journals viewed with Basic Accounts.

Based on some experiments, the advertising policy for registered external IDs appear to be same as for the new Basic Accounts.

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