Glam Media is announcing a flurry of new features today centering around Ning, the social network building service that it acquired last year. Collectively, they give some sense of what Ning looks like once it has been integrated into Glam’s business and products.
Since Glam is primarily an ads business, perhaps the most important change is the fact that Ning creators can now run Glam ads in their community. Previously, if you had a network on Ning and you wanted advertising, you were mostly on your own. (In fact, Glam CEO Samir Arora says there were already two Ning networks had decided on their own to join Glam’s advertising program.) Now, assuming you fit into one of the company’s ad verticals, you can start monetizing in a more serious way, by running premium advertising from the network.
At the same time, Glam CEO Samir Arora says it’s not just about slapping traditional brand advertising onto Ning properties. He says that on Ning, the ads can be better targeted using social data, and that Glam is also “inventing new ad formats” that are uniquely social — for example, ads could take the form of branded discussions around a topic that’s connected to the advertiser.
Advertisers will be able to take advantage of those formats outside of Ning, through a new product called Glam Social. It’s supposedly “powered by Ning,” but will allow customers to run these types of social campaigns (like the one below) and build their own communities on their own websites, rather than being stuck on a Facebook Page or even a Ning community.
There are some improvements beyond the addition of ads. Glam is also announcing that Ning can optimize communities for the mobile web, whether it’s on a smartphone or a tablet. (Previously, larger Ning communities can hire someone to turn those communities into native apps.) And for the largest customers, Ning is also announcing a new paid product called Ning VIP, which is supposed to provide more scalability, customization, and support, with pricing starting at $1,000 per month.
In addition to the product news, Glam is also revealing that Ning’s communities are seeing more than 50 million unique active users per month, and that more than 2,000 new social networks are created monthly.
With over 2 million communities created to date, Ning is the world’s largest SaaS platform for deploying vibrant social communities and web sites. Founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini in 2004, Ning was acquired by Glam Media in December 2011 to bring together Ning’s world-class social-native technology with Glam’s premium advertising solutions to help consumers and brands create and engage with passionate social communities across all digital mediums. Ning empowers you to take control of your social strategy. With Ning...
Samir Arora founded Glam Media to create a better way for brand advertisers to connect with their audiences on the Web. Arora was previously the chairman of Emode/Tickle, Inc, which was later sold to Monster in June 2004. Prior to that, Arora was chairman and CEO of NetObjects, Inc. where he drove the creation of the first web site building product NetObjects Fusion. Arora also currently serves as chairman of Information Capital LLC, a venture-capital fund based in Woodside,...