Social Brand Visibility: Ning

Ning is another kind of social network. Subscribing to the network allows user create their own social networks around specific interest, with their own design, choice of features and members database. The central idea is that anyone can create his own social network.

Founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini, the site went public in October 2005. In 2007 Ning.com raised $44 million in venture capital, and an additional $60 million a year later.

Ning labels itself as a place where content intersects with conversations to inspire action. Every social network created through Ning comes with social integration tools, community features, design tools and monetization solutions which are ready for use.

It can create a virtual office for supporters and volunteers and empower citizens to become organizers, raise money, or mobilize votes.

Ning’s categories include: politics, entertainment, consumer brands, small business, non-profit organization and education, among others. The site connects about 80 million people around the world talking about the things they are most passionate about.

The biggest competitors to Ning are Facebook, MySpace and other social media platforms. Unlike Facebook, for example, which gives its users a template of how the site should look, Ning has no templates and allows the users freedom to create the look and feel of their site just as they want it to be. It also provides all the analytics and data they might need. This is especially important for businesses.

Since April 2010 there has been a change in Ning.com. The site which was up till then a free service had ceased being free and is now a fully paid site. It has three levels of paid services with different features, viral tools and different levels of customer support.

In June 2010 Ning was recognized as one of the hottest Silicon Valley Companies. In October of that year it launched Ning Everywhere and has mobile apps monetized and integrated with cloud services in a matter of a few clicks.

Most of the traffic for Ning comes from the US (39.2%) followed, with a big dip by India (5.7%) and the UK (4.2%). Most of the users are between the ages of 35-44 with the next age group, 45-54, closely behind. The majority of the users are women, with no children, using the site from work.

The word NING in Chinese means “peace”.

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About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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