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Tagged Turns Profitable – May Be Fastest Growing Social Network

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Silicon Valley based Tagged was a young-teen focused social network that, like Piczo, focused on security of its users first. It is part of a vague second-tier of social networks that assemble under the MySpace/Facebook giants and includes Hi5 (which is fast becoming a first tier player), Bebo, Piczo, Orkut and Friendster. They’ve raised two rounds of financing – $1.5 from angel investors in September 2005, and $7 million from Mayfield three months later.

Co-founder and CEO Greg Tseng told me today that the company has reached profitability on $600,000 in monthly revenues, and that user growth has spiked to 350,000 new users per day. That’s well ahead of MySpace, which is currently growing by 250,000 – 300,000 users per day.

Comscore shows Tagged spiking nicely compared to the copetitors (the last time we compared the networks was September 2005). Click the image for a large view.

There are at least a couple of reasons for the growth. In October 2006 Tagged went from an under-18 site, to allowing users of any age to join. Tagged still has tight security in place for users under 18. For example, profiles for 13 and 14 year olds cannot be viewed by the public or registered users over 16, and profiles for 15-16 year olds are private to non users and users over 18. Older users can still add these youngsters as friends, but they must know their email address or last name to request the friendship, and the younger user must also accept them.

Tagged is also very aggressive with signing up new users. At registration users are strongly encouraged to invite their entire address book as friends. It’s a highly viral, albeit controversial, way to quickly add lots of new users.

Lots of these new users are sticking around, too. Tseng says that half of their 40 million users are active and have signed in over the last month. Tagged is now generating 1 billion monthly page views (about half of what MySpace does in a day).

Tagged is getting serious about revenue growth. The $600k/month they currently generate comes mostly from a search deal with Ask.com and low CPM display ads. The Ask.com partnership may be on the rocks, however. Tseng says the deal is “not performing.”

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