Your Ning Site Looks The Way You Want

What is Ning? Ning Review

In Social Media, Social Networking by Mark Guertin7 Comments

What is Ning? Ning Review

Ning – A Platform for Creating Your Own Social Network

Ning describes itself as a platform where users can create their own social network. Say what again? Your own social network? Haven’t people tired enough of Facebook and Twitter? Haven’t they heard about the decline of Myspace and the eventual demise of Friendster? Even Google has decided to kill their social network, Orkut.

While there’s a plethora of social networks out there, there’s no denying that sometimes you wish the interface was up to your standards. Every time Facebook changes their layout, you’ll hear a bunch of complaints. When Twitter makes design changes, you’ll hear complaints.

However, Ning is a different platform because it allows YOU to CREATE your OWN social network – design, theme and everything. You can think of it like a community of people with shared interests and you get to dictate the look and feel of it.

Ning History

Ning is a Chinese word for peace. It was founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini. Development on the platform started on October 2004 and it was officially launched on October 2005. Angel investors also took part in the initial founding of Ning.

Initially a free service, changes were implemented after an announcement was made by CEO Jason Rosenthal on April 15, 2010 about the platform’s move to being a paid service.

Ning’s initial headquarters were are located in downtown Palo Alto, California. When the company was purchased by Glam Media in 2011, headquarters were moved to Brisbane.


  • Creation of a centrally themed community and social network

Facebook and Twitter do not cater to just one interest, although users can only follow accounts whose interests they share, there are some features that are just not meant to cater to every interest.

Your Ning Site Looks The Way You Want

Your Ning Site Looks The Way You Want

Use Ning to create your own social site the way you want

With Ning, you’re free to make a community based around a certain interest. So if you want a network centered on books, that’s exactly what Ning allows you to do.

The profiles that users will create will fall under the community they join in.

  • Integration with other online services

Just like any other social network, sharing among platforms is one of the nice features of Ning. Content from Ning can be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Likewise, posts from these networks can be shared to Ning as well. Other than that, content from YouTube, Vimeo, Myspace and Soundcloud can be shared on Ning too.

Ning Provides Full Social Media Integration

Ning Provides Full Social Media Integration

Ning lets you integrate with the other social places

  • Activity feed

This functions just like a Twitter feed or a Facebook timeline. It contains all the latest activity that your network has been up to. You can find what everybody is talking about, which member commented on what and others.

What’s interesting about the Activity feed is that you can choose how many items you want to display and which area of your network where you will display it.

If you’re the Network Creator, you can delete any activity you find to not be in line with your objectives. The activity feed is also the place where you can post custom messages such as facts or announcements.

  • Ning Blog

Members who want to express their own opinion on a subject can use the Blog feature of Ning. You can also create separate blogs with one being the official blog of your community for updates and such while the other blog will be open for members to contribute to.

  • Ning Forum

Functions just any internet forum. It’s a place where conversations can be carried about topics in the specific niche that you’re interested in.

  • Ning Photos

Encourages members to upload photos to contribute to the community. As the administrator, you can control what gets through or not.

  • Ning Groups

Similar to Groups and Communities where users can create a group that caters to their specific interest. Maybe a group under a social network on books can be focused more on the classics while another will have a focus on mysteries and thrillers.

As you can see, Ning allows you to create a dedicated community with a certain shared interest. Just keep in mind that the platform is no longer free, but if you’re willing to spare the expense for establishing a themed community, then Ning is waiting for you.

Ning Requires Fees

Ning Requires Fees

Ning is not free but is reasonably priced

The future of Ning

Alexa shows a significant downward trend for Ning from the fall of 2013 until now. We are not sure about the cause of this drop but think that it could be a result of pressure from competitors who offer somewhat similar platforms but free of charge. Oxwall is one such animal and we have done custom builds on this platform for clients. It is more or less a Facebook clone and is open source and free.

While Oxwall is free it requires much more technical knowledge and expense to setup and run as compared to Ning. It does offer many of the same features like live chat, streaming wall, likes, photos, videos, groups, forums, blogs and more but enough about Oxwall until we do an article on it…

Ning Traffic Shows In Decline

Ning Traffic Shows In Decline

Alexa shows Ning in steady decline since last fall

We are not exactly sure what the future will hold for Ning but we will be watching their traffic statistics to see what develops. Maybe a good marketing push can turn things around and then again maybe the decline will continue or possibly level off. We shall see. Either way, Ning does offer an attraction to a certain niche and for that reason we wanted to do this article and possibly make more people aware of this social media option.


  1. Ning is horrible! I belong to a group and it is constantly having problems. It seems like it has troubles every other day!! I will never get ning and I warn all my friends about it.

    1. #Ning couldn’t fight there way out of a wet paper bag. Customer service and repair of broken components is an impossibility for them. I have never come across any company so incompetent. I demand a response from the CEO immediately which would include firstly a fix of the reported problem since July 10, a sincere apology – not a canned one like I get every time from so called “customer service” and some form of make up gesture.
      Why is it that someone, a customer, has to tell #Ning how to do customer service?

  2. Never use this service. Go with WordPress and install buddypress. I was testing a few products, so I signed up for a trial. I didn’t find it useful and forgot to cancel until three months into the service when I was wondering why I had a charge of 30 dollars on my credit card. Never used the service after the first one or two day of trial, but couldn’t get a refund. They ask you for a credit card upfront to avoid fraud or spam – or so they say – and they do say no refund on their website. But when you’ve never received an email from them, it’s hard to remember that you’re still paying for it. It’s not the kind of company I’d want to work for or do business with. So avoid ning is my advice. Best of luck.

  3. In the last few years, Ning has slowed down a little. But now, as I heard, they are going to increase their market share by adding 3.0 version new functions and fixing its bugs. I think it`s a good sign

  4. Be very careful with this company. They will not offer refunds, and continue to bill on expired creditcards. I have to e, based on service alone, AVOID THIS COMPANY.

  5. Rude, unprofessional, unacceptable experience. I was charged after the trial when I cancelled it the day I signed up because it wasn’t what I was looking for. At the end of this trial I was charged and as soon as I saw it I talked with a live agent on the site. They said there was nothing stating that I cancelled and there would be no refund. I DID cancel it. I am still currently fighting with them on this. I also couldn’t get any straight answer out of them about the company and when I asked to speak with a manager I was told they would email me. No one ever contacted me. This is a huge problem. Just within one conversation I was treated like a child, called a liar, and denied information on the company along with being lied too. This is not a good business and I suggest you stay away from them so this doesn’t happen to you too.

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