UPDATE: It appears that significant reports of issues have been reported for GROU.PS. Thanks to one of our readers for bringing it to my attention.
If you're looking to launch your own niche social network for customers or a specific community, your options are to spend a lot of money on development or you could utilize any number of social network platforms that are already on the market. You can download and install an open source social networking platform Lovd By Less or Elgg, or you can use hosted solutions like Ning, Spruz, Social GO or GROU.PS.
GROU.PS is a social groupware platform that allows people to come together and form interactive communities around a shared interest or affiliation. The functionality of any online group is limited only by the members' collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals.
GROU.PS got quite a bit of press a couple years ago when they built a Ning importer. Ning had moved to a paid model, so GROU.PS developed a simple process to import all the activities and objects from your Ning instance to a new GROU.PS network. GROU.PS has quite a robust featureset.
Features as listed on the GROU.PS Home Page
- Instant Setup – So easy to use, you’ll be up and running in 5 minutes. Then, you can start inviting people to join your new community right away.
- 70+ Templates – We have a template for everyone. Customize the look of your group with our user-friendly interface. Or, drill deeper with CSS and full backend access.
- 15+ Apps – The system is plug and play. Our apps include Forums, Blogs, Wiki, Photos, Videos, Funds, and more. Use just a few that you need, or all of them. It’s up to you.
- Integrated -Public groups can publish their selected posts and activities directly to Twitter and Facebook to gain maximum exposure and traffic.
- Public or Private – You can let the whole world view and contribute to your group, or limit access to a select few. Create a privacy blend that works for you.
- Moderation – You decide who can contribute, create and edit content. Designate your own levels of authorization for your members.
- Monetization – Prestige isn't the only reward your group can bring. You can also generate revenue using our tools, or raise money for a cause using our built-in Funds app. Sell tickets, create paid membership programs, etc.
- API – You're not limited to just the tools we've already built for you. You can use our APIs to access 3rd party tools and add your own customized functionality to suit your group’s unique needs.
- Fanatic Support – And if you need any help along the way, you can reach us anytime. We’re committed to your success, and we’ll spend as much time as it takes to guarantee your satisfaction.
Plans range from $2.95 per month to $29.95 per month!