Ning, the social network platform that lets users build their own social networks, has launched its application platform Ning Apps to the public. The platform allows Network Creators to customize the features on their networks by adding apps that have been created by third party developers, which include the likes of Ticketmaster, WordPress, Hulu and plenty more. The platform made its debut back in May, but has remained in Beta since then. Today it will be available for all network creators to use. You can browse the list of available apps here.
At launch Ning Apps has around 90 applications, which add features like video chat, collaborative workspaces, video streaming, and marketplaces to sell goods. The platform is based on OpenSocial, but unlike the applications you’ll find on most other social networks, Ning Apps allow Network Creators to deploy their apps to all of their users at once, though users can choose to hide an app after it has been deployed on a social network. Obviously this is a big opportunity for the apps on the platform — if a major network were to install one of them, they could instantly gain hundreds of thousands of users.
The launch has been a long time coming. We hear from a third party developer on the platform that Ning was targeting a June launch, but pushed the launch to mid-August (and again til now) due to speed issues and frequent requests that Ning tweak the placement of these applications. Ning initially planned to feature the apps on a social network’s homepage — now they’ll be appearing in dedicated tabs within the Ning network.
Earlier this summer Ning raised another $15 million at a whopping $750 million valuation that raised more than a few eyebrows, though that may have been an interesting bit of VC marketing strategy. To date Ning has raised nearly $120 million.