For those of you who haven't been paying attention, a few months ago LiveJournal got sold to SUP, which had been for some time supporting the russian community. At the time they promised a grand 100-day plan, complete with an advisory board formed of some of the most influential figures from LiveJournal's history.
And now we've come to the end of the 100-day plan, and while there were many grand changes announced (and some good ones, like reworking and clarifying the abuse rules), there's been a small but extremely significant change that was very quietly made. FAQ #38, What are the different account levels on LiveJournal, was updated, and the following was added:
"Basic Account is an option available to accounts which were created before March 12, 2008. No account created after this date can be turned into a Basic Account."
Back in ye olden days, one of the core tennants of LiveJournal is that you would not have to pay to have a journal on it. Free accounts were just that - free, while you could, if you wanted, pay for extra features. Then came adverts, but they were very carefully added, such that you only saw them if you were logged out or using an ad-supported account, and paid users *never* had or saw ads anywhere. The basic free account still existed, and was still ad-free.
Now the basic free account has gone, and LiveJournal's joined the ranks of sites that plaster you with adverts unless you pay a subscription.
'Tis a sad day for Livejournal.