SOURCE: Ning

Ning

November 10, 2009 09:01 ET

Ning Adds Variable Pricing and Custom Categories to Virtual Gifts Product

New Developments Further Empower Network Creators to Create and Promote Custom Virtual Gifts Driving Increased Member Engagement and Choice

500,000 Total Gifts Given in the Three Weeks Since Launch; 25,000 Gifts Given on Average Daily

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Ning, (www.ning.com), the social platform for the world's interests and passions online, today announced new advancements to the Ning Virtual Gifts product adding variable pricing options and custom category naming. These new developments offer Ning Network Creators the ability to set and adjust pricing for custom gifts created and the opportunity to manage and display gifts through custom category naming. By providing a more engaging and relevant virtual gifts showroom, members of Ning Networks will have unprecedented choice and flexibility to give and receive virtual gifts around their interests and passions.

With variable pricing, Network Creators can now price custom gifts at 25, 50, 75, 100, 200, or 500 credits, or $.50 to $10 respectively, enabling Network Creators to offer their members more choice around selecting, purchasing and sending gifts. Revenue will continue to be shared between Network Creators and Ning in a 50/50 split following PayPal's transaction fees. Through custom category naming, Network Creators have a new way to encourage member interaction -- giving gifts to show appreciation, friendship, even self-expression -- all within the inherent context of their Ning Network.

"It is becoming commonplace for people around the world to spend money on virtual goods in meaningful ways. Today's release is another example of how we will continue to innovate in virtual goods," said Jason Rosenthal, chief operating officer at Ning. "Our mission is to ensure our Network Creators and members alike have a compelling virtual gifts experience on the Ning Platform -- one that is unique and relevant to the topics they care about most."

"Our members have loved giving each other custom virtual gifts that represent various artists' works -- the 'Follow the WInd!' piece by member artist Naoko Stoop is a favorite in our artist community," said Anthony Cospito, co-founder of BrooklynArtProject.com. "With new ways to better display our gift store and make pricing decisions for special collections, we can provide our members with more selection and flexibility which drives participation; it's a win-win all around."

Since the launch of the Ning Virtual Gifts product in mid-October more than 500,000 total gifts have been given by members of Ning Networks and 25,000 gifts are given on average daily. With hundreds of pre-populated gifts available to Network Creators, it is the custom gifts on Ning Networks that have proven to be very popular.

In addition, Ning launched http://creators.ning.com/, a Ning Network where Network Creators can connect with and learn from other Network Creators on how to get the most out of the Ning Platform, to share tips and tricks, and to ask questions and get answers. It is also a centralized place for Network Creators to find resources and updates on new products and features and submit feedback and communicate directly with Ning staff. One of the first resources available to Network Creators is a short tutorial on how to easily create and upload custom gifts.

For more information on today's launch, visit the Ning Press Center for screenshots at: http://about.ning.com/press

Editor's Note: You must be a member of the Ning Network and create a Ning ID to view the gift store in the Ning Network referenced above.

About Ning

Ning is the social platform for the world's interests and passions online. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Ning offers an easy-to-use service that allows people to join and create Ning Networks. With more than 1.6 million Ning Networks created and 37 million registered users, millions of people every day are coming together across Ning to explore and express their interests, discover new passions, and meet new people around shared pursuits. Ning was founded in October 2004 by Gina Bianchini and Marc Andreessen. The company is privately held. For more information, visit www.ning.com.

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