KickApps social networking software launches

KickApps, a white label social networking software service, launched publicly today. Think of it as a way for any web site to add functionality similar to MySpace or YouTube.

After looking at the way that the system works, I can say that KickApps looks strong on a technology level. While major media companies seem excited these days about buying social networking sites, this is a way they can quickly leverage that type of technology without the monster price tags. Will users go for it? That depends on whether the huge market share of MySpace is due to a lack of options or it’s there because people only want to belong to one social network online.

KickApps was founded by Eric Alterman, a serial entrepreneur who has in the past specialized on commercializing technology licensed from the military. KickApps is the end result of a vision Alterman has had for years, he told me, only recently becoming viable with the increased visibility of social networking and media sharing technologies.

The company announced $6 million in series A funding from Spark Capital and Prism Venture Partners last month. There are two service levels available, free and white label subscriptions will be accompanied by advertising that KickApps will take some or all of the revenue from.

The basic idea behind this service is relatively simple but the end result is a highly customizable social networking site for admins and a relatively compelling experience for users. Fields available for users to populate are customized by the KickApps customer, as well as a wide variety of permission options, ten nice widgets available for posting media off-site and detailed data reports on traffic and use.

Companies employing KickApps will like the content moderation tools and ability to drive traffic back to their own websites. Users will likely appreciate the familiarity with the media sharing methods. Setting up an account is free, so readers can check out the system for themselves as well.

I asked about Open ID and the company told me only that multiple implementations by a single white lable customer would support porting of user identity. That’s unsurprising but dissapointing, as it’s questionable how many niche social networking sites users will sign up for before becoming exhausted.