GROU.PS DIY Social Network Platform Reaches 2 Million Users, Becomes More Customizable

GROU.PS, a do-it-yourself social network focused on moderated online collaboration has steadily gained an impressive amount of users and added compelling features to its application. The social network platform has just hit 2 million users, adding another million members in just 6 months.

And GROU.PS has amped up its offering for publishers by launching Elastic Modules, which gives publishers the ability to change the way the data is displayed to their visitors. To date, the highest reach of look and feel customization was at the template level; the
publisher could only change the skin of their site. Now publishers can actually modify the backend of the social network they’ve created.

GROU.PS counts Don Dodge, developer evangelist at Google, is among the community builders that have chosen GROU.PS as their online platform. “Don Dodge’s Startup List” is sort of a Crunchbase for Boston area.

The startup’s networks are attractive to users because it lets you run all of your group’s collaboration tools from one GROU.PS domain using a single login. The system supports wikis, photos, links, blogs, calendars, chat, forums, maps, profiles, and subgroups – each of which is available as a plug-and-play module for your community. These modules also allow users to pull in their data from other third party services (flickr, Digg, blogs, etc).

The startup, which has over 40,000 networks on its platform, also recently added ActivityRank Pipelines, a point and reward system that lets moderators of a social network measure and rank members’ content contributions and then extend moderation privileges to members based on these rankings. And the social network is launching a subscription model that will allow moderators to charge subscription fees to members (GROU.PS gets a 50% cut on any fees charges).

GROU.PS just raised $1 million in funding, bringing the startup’s total funding up to over $2 million. But while the social network is growing, it is still faces major competition form the leader in the space, Ning, which recently hit 37 million users with 1.6 million social networks created on the platform.