Multiply's play to 'digital moms'

The small, photo-focused social network is targeting those who might be uncomfortable with just how many people can see their photos on Facebook.

The "media locker" photo storage system on the newly redesigned Multiply.com. Multiply

Multiply, the small social network that acquired MSN Groups when Microsoft shuttered the product late last year, has launched a redesign.

In addition to a new news-feed-based homepage, there are now plug-ins for Google's Picasa and Microsoft's Windows Photo Gallery for easy syncing, a better auto-upload tool, and increased prominence of the "media locker" where members can store high-resolution versions of their photos.

Multiply, which has between 13 million and 14 million members, makes money from premium accounts , photo-printing services, and advertising on free accounts. The company says that right now, those three revenue streams are about even, but that with the updates it expects premium accounts and photo printing to take a bigger share.

Of nearly equal importance to Multiply's redesign is marketing: with its focus on photo storage, the company hopes to appeal to "digital moms" who want to share photos with close friends, maintain a backup of their high-resolution photos and do basic editing online, and turn their pictures into albums and scrapbooks.

The executives' rationale: as Facebook gets bigger and more public, a market is opening up for people who don't see it as a safe or private place to share photos of scenes along the lines of their kids in the bathtub. The revamped Multiply, the Boca Raton, Fla.-based company's execs hope, will have appeal as a sort of hybrid of a social network and a photo storage and printing site like Snapfish or Shutterfly.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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