Threat Level – Moderate
Ning is an online platform for people and organizations to create custom social networks, launched in October 2005. Ning offers customers the ability to create a community website with a customized appearance and feel; feature sets such as photos, videos, forums and blogs; and support for “Like”, plus integration with Facebook, Twitter, Google and Yahoo. Ning, Inc. is owned by Glam Media and, like the operating company, has its headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. The service allows customers to charge for membership directly within their Ning Network. Customers can also monetize by using services provided through partnerships established by Ning, and adding display advertisements, such as Google, to their Ning Network.
There are over 90,000 (as of June 2011) social websites, known as Ning Networks, running on the Ning Platform. Ning offers 3 plans to its customers: Mini, Plus and Pro. The plans are offered with varying feature offerings and range in price so that customers can choose a plan that best fits the goal for their community. Once a plan is chosen, a customer can change it to another plan at any time. As of June 2011, Ning has 65 million monthly unique visitors globally on its platform.
Ning was co-founded by Marc Andreeesen and Gina Biancchii. Ning is Andreessen’s third company (after Netscape and Opsware).