Ning officially launches apps platform

Build-your-own-social-network service makes public a platform that lets users embed more than 90 apps and widgets for things like donation collections or ticket sales.

Ning, the service that lets you build your own social network, on Thursday officially launched a platform that gives users access to more than 90 embeddable applications and widgets for things like collecting donations or selling tickets.

The public launch of Ning Apps has been a long time coming. It went into a private beta in May and Ning was one of the original launch partners for the OpenSocial platform, on which Ning Apps is based.

The platform gives the 32 million users of the 1.5 million Ning-built social networks even more customization options. For example, the company points out that a band-oriented Ning social network could embed the Sellit online store to sell merchandise, Ticketmaster or LiveNation apps to sell tickets, or Qik to stream mobile video. Similarly, an activist site could embed BlogTalk Radio to host a live radio show or PollDaddy to gauge member interests.

Ning App only furthers users' ability to customize their sites and thus drive traffic, no doubt an important component of Ning's business plan.

Forbes says the company, co-founded by Silicon Valley pioneer Marc Andreessen, is valued "at a lofty $750 million following a $15 million investment in July from Lightspeed Venture Partners."

Correction: The number of Ning users has been updated in this post. Ning has 32 million users. 1.5 million social networks have been built to date on the Ning platform.

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