Glam Media acquires site builder Ning

Ning, the Web site builder co-founded by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, has been sold to Glam Media for an undisclosed sum. The site will become a part of Glam's platform portfolio.

Ning, Glam logos

Social media company Glam announced today that it has acquired social Web site builder Ning.

The two companies say the deal will create a network that serves 240 million users and 100,000 publishers.

"With the addition of Ning, Glam Media will truly become the first next-generation media company in the post-social world," said Samir Arora, chairman and CEO of Glam Media in a statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though AllThingsD pegs it at $200 million.

Ning was co-founded by Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini and launched near the end of 2005 as a tool for users to create their own Web sites with social features. Part of that vision included offering advertising and premium services that would extend what people could create with those sites.

Within four years of launching, Ning surpassed 1 million social networks created on the service. However, the company's future did not look nearly as bright just last year. Following the departure of Bianchini as CEO, the company cut 40 percent of its staff and got rid of the free, ad-supported version of its service. Ning COO Jason Rosenthal took over the CEO spot and now becomes an executive vice president of social media at Glam and the general manager of Ning. Meanwhile, Andreessen joins Glam's board of directors.

Since last year, the company says it has more than 60 million monthly unique visitors and 100,000 paying customers that have brought a 500 percent increase in revenue.

"Combining Ning's social technology, user base, and 100,000-plus networks will immediately boost Glam's reach to 240 million users and 3.1 billion page views, add recurring subscription revenue to Glam's business model, and most importantly, set up the combined company to be the leading social-media content company on the Web," Andreessen said in a post on his personal blog.

Glam Media is a digital content company that hosts hundreds of Web sites, blogs, and online magazines. The company's sites pull in more than 200 million visitors a month globally, with nearly half of those coming from the U.S. The company describes itself as having the "largest online global reach for women."

As part of the deal, Glam says Ning Creators will soon be getting "new opportunities on desktop and mobile devices to monetize their sites and grow successful businesses."

About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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