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Ning hits 1 million social networks

Co-founded by Marc Andreessen and Gina Bianchini, the service launched in March 2007 and has 22 million registered users.

Sometime on Thursday, the one millionth site was created on Ning, the build-your-own-social-network company that was co-founded by Silicon Valley baron Marc Andreessen. It launched just over two years ago.

Ning now has 22 million registered users, about 6.1 million of whom are considered active. Out of the million networks, about a fifth are currently active.

While these numbers are still small compared with the likes of Facebook (on whose board Andreessen sits) it's impressive considering Ning lost 20 percent of its page views in December when it chose to shut down networks containing porn and other adult content. Traffic had recovered in February, CEO Gina Bianchini told CNET News.

Bianchini added that much of Ning's growth comes from networks that aren't ultra-niche, but are focused on something that has a rabid and vocal following. Case in point:, an official fan site for the vampire-themed book series that converted to a Ning network shortly after the first book was turned into a hit movie. In two months, 94,000 people joined, she said.

"I believe that no one is doing and thinking about graphing interests and passions, and thinking about people as their interests and passions, except us," Bianchini told CNET News.