Our terrible, terrible alliteration aside, Ning's (news, site) latest announcement is pretty exciting for its fans. Today's launch of Ning Apps grants users of the platform the ability to embed over 90 new applications and widgets on their social networks.
Yeah, Ning is another social network but it's not like Myspace or Facebook. Rather than focusing on individual profiles, Ning is all about the networks. "Networks" not "network" because their whole sitch is being whatever kind of circuit you want it to be. More specifically, users of the platform can create their own custom social network for whatever topic they want, and then other users can join. Food? Check. Fooball? Sure. Belly lint? Whynot!
Now with Apps
The applications thing isn't actually new for Ning. After all, a social network or band of networks with zero widgets would never last in times like these. About a year ago, Ning announced their support of Google’s OpenSocial standard. This allowed developers to build applications--great!--but the platform only supported a measly 30, and while users could add the apps to their own profiles, including them on their actual network sites wasn't an option.
Now of course, all of that is old news. Network creators can finally embed their beloved applications on their network's main page, making them available for all users on that particular circuit.
Nings New Numbers (sorry, alliteration can't be helped)
Whether or not Ning's going to pull through with some serious competition for other popular social networks has been in question, but their numbers are certainly increasing. About this time a year ago, Ning celebrated the creation of their 550,000th network. Today the platform hosts over a reported 1.5 million different social networks and has roughly 33 million registered users.
Though it's important to note that there are probably a great many networks that aren't in use, the number of registered users is still pretty impressive. Surely the addition of all the new applications will warrant even more attention, right?