Ning is a social website builder that lets users bring their audiences together in one centralized location. The user can select a design from a list of pre-made themes. The application also includes 80 design settings to further customize the look of the user’s social website. The user can also make further changes through the CSS. Users can organize events on their social pages and include member profiles that allow their audience members to create a personal space within the online community. Discussions can be started through forms, activity streams, chats and groups. User generated content can also be displayed as images, comments, blogs, videos and voice opinions. Ning includes built in integration with YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Revenue features are also available for businesses.
Ning was founded in October of 2004 by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini. The application was acquired by Glam Media in September of 2011 for $150 million. Ning has enjoyed popularity as well as a few controversies. In August of 2008, the application banned widget Laboratory. The debate became heated after a TechCrunch article was posted discussing the incident. The following December, the application announced it would no longer permit pornographic content. In 2010, the search function was removed as well as free networks.
Ning is a website builder that focuses on social networking and related tools. The user can create one centralized place to bring their fans, followers and customers. The application makes building a social website easy and quick. The user can create a stylish site that looks professionally designed and provides a number of functions that allow users to interact, share thoughts and opinions and learn more about the business, professional or brand.
Ning welcomes users with a modern style that gives it an attractive edge many users can appreciate. The user interface is clean, clutter free and sleek in design. Each tool is easy to find and the completed social webpage looks professional enough for a business to share with clients and internet followers. Data is presented in lightly colored charts so the user can retrieve their information in digestible portions. The interface moves smoothly and the user experiences no delays as they design.
New users can click the green “Get Started” button at the top, right hand corner of the Ning homepage. The next page asks the user to choose their preferred subscription plan. After clicking the corresponding orange button, the user is asked to provide their full name, email address and password. The second part of the form asks for a name for the user’s social website, a preferred URL and payment information.
Ning offers users three subscription options to work with. The first is a Mini subscription for $2.95 per month. The Mini plan includes access for up to 150 members, 1 GB of storage space, no advertisements, blog, photos, forums, custom “like” buttons, embedded videos and the ability to add up to two Ning apps. The Plus plan costs $24.95 per month and includes up to 10,000 members 10 GBs of storage space, chat and up to five Ning apps. The Pro plan costs $59.95 per month and includes unlimited members, 20 GBs of storage space and up to 10 Ning apps.
If you are looking for a social networking site where you will find many long, lost friends, then Ning isn't the place for you. However, Ning is a useful application if you want to set up an interactive and customized fan site or community page, but don't want to invest the time and resources involved in building a true website.