In the early 2000s, I joined One Model Place and was a happy member until they got rid of the free memberships for photographers but still offered them for models.
With that move a lot of people abandoned OMP and moved to Model Mayhem once they discovered it. I joined MM in November 2006. The membership of MM seemed to ramp up quite rapidly even if you discount all the fake and abandoned profiles.
After joining MM, I abandoned my OMP profile and never went back.
In 2009, I first heard about Model Insider and joined up, looking forward to an alternative to MM's crappy system. Over the last three years, I've checked this site infrequently and find the same problem, no one is here. If I do a search for models within a 100 mile radius of my studio, the search returns 2 inactive models.
Given how bad MM has become, I'm wondering why this site hasn't become more popular in three years.
Anyone have any theories on why everyone switched from OMP to MM, but they haven't been willing to make the switch from MM to Model Insider?
I guess it is 'mass' not 'class'.
MMs system is crappy, but it has a couple hundred thousand entries from all over the world.
If you can figure out how to abandonned profiles (and MM does help with that) you can narrow it down pretty well.
(Fakes are a different issue - and I guess all sites are having to deal with that - your mileage depends on your social skills vs. the fakes social skills I guess)
I check back here usually at least once a day (Forum/Latest Posts works great for me) - even though I usually remain pretty silent.
You already gave another main reason why people still use MM in those numbers:
It's free. If they did cut 'important' functions for free members making them available to paying (premium) members only, people would abandon their profiles pretty quick - and move their activities elsewhere (to here for example).
They probably do know that and as long as they do not change any major policies 'mass' will still count.
Just my 2c.