Web Start-up Changes Membership Options to Free

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Uencounter.me, a start-up web application enticing people to build virtual pin maps of their travels and experiences, announced early this week the elimination of its Premium membership level in favor of allowing all users an opportunity to experience the best features of the site for free.

We are noticing that the possibilities and interests are endless!

The general public is now able to create a free membership and participate in site elements that were previously paid options. The uencounter.me team restructured their revenue model by increasing the amount of advertising space on the site and offering users an ‘ad free’ option for a minimum annual charge. In addition, they created a New Partner level, specifically for individuals who had an interest in creating a pin map that would promote a venue or business. The Partner level includes advertising features and requires an annual subscription, which is currently priced at an introductory rate.

Leslyn Kantner, Co-Founder and CEO of uencounter.me states, “People are using the site in ways that the team never considered. It’s exciting.” Kantner described how a listserv moderator recently created an account and shared it online with the intent of discovering where all of the listserv members were located. “We were a bit confused at first because we saw one user who dropped over a hundred pins all across the country – all indicating that she had ‘worked there’”. In another example, Kantner described how the owner of a guest house in New Zealand is using uencounter.me to map the locations of where her guests have traveled from. “Our original concept was that people would use the site to see their own lives pinned on a map,” states Kantner. "We are noticing that the possibilities and interests are endless.” The variety of possible uses for an application such as uencounter.me is one of the reasons that the Team opted to reconsider their freemium structure according to Kantner. “We wanted everyone to have full access,” she states.

Travel bloggers have been finding that uencounter.me offers a number of unique opportunities. A few bloggers such as Terri, who writes the Try Anything Once Blog and became a partner, took the time to share a post about uencounter.me so that readers would know to view the travel map that that is now clickable from the blog. When a uencounter badge is posted to a blog or web page, it links directly to the map of the blogger or business. This way, readers and customers have direct access to a visual representation of the related locations. Partners are also able to post hyperlinks and descriptions of their blog posts or business with each pin that they place on the map as part of their subscription package. Kantner reports that a number of the uencounter.me partners have noticed an increase in web traffic since creating their pin map.

Since its launch in November, uencounter.me has experienced a steady increase in its user stream as the global population becomes aware of its potential uses. Now, people everywhere can create a free account without fear that the best part of the site is only for open wallets.

Uencounter.me is a virtual pin map that is social! It was born from an innate curiosity of the interwoven universe in which we reside; the serendipitous nature of our lives, a life time of memories, and a desire to see it in a visual format. CEO Leslyn Kantner coupled a great idea with a lifetime of entrepreneurial spirit and developed a dynamic team to develop and build what is now the only geo-location web application that emphasizes 'people'. The site went quietly live in November of 2011 and continues to expand based on user needs and recommendations.

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