Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Family Trees Grow Virally on Geni.com

Site Traffic Tops 1 Million Unique Visitors in August.

Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) September 4, 2008 -- Genealogy and family social networking website, Geni.com, announced today that its traffic in August exceeded 1 million unique visitors for the first time and continues to grow rapidly.

Since Geni spends nothing on marketing, its growth is entirely organic and driven by the virality of its family tree application, which asks users to invite a relative when they add him or her to the tree. That relative can then invite other relatives.

The largest tree on Geni now contains profiles of over 600,000 people and was built by over 40,000 users. No other genealogy site can boast of so many users simultaneously participating in a single tree. As a free, easy-to-use web application, Geni is able to mobilize the efforts of anyone interested in their family, in addition to genealogy enthusiasts.

Geni's goal is to build a family tree of the entire world, enabling families to connect, preserve, and share their lives. Geni's features include but are not limited to photo and video sharing, a timeline to preserve family history, and a family calendar for birthday and anniversaries.

Geni has also invested heavily in privacy features based on relatedness, so user information is shared only with close relatives. This automatically protects privacy-minded users who happen to find themselves in a fast-growing tree.

Recently, Geni released a tree-merging feature, which enables two trees to merge when a common relative is invited to both. This process can be repeated many times over, leading to the discovery of new family relationships and strengthening Geni's network effects compared to other genealogy sites.

David Kaleita, a Geni user, stated, "As recently as six weeks ago, I was connected to approximately 3,000 profiles (2/3 of which were manually entered by me and the rest manually entered by other family members) before merging with anyone. Now, several tree merges later, the stats report that I am now connected to 263,288 profiles! More than half of that growth came within the last two days."

Geni spent a year preparing for tree merging. "Prior to developing the intricate tree-merging feature in itself, we needed to develop an extra layer of privacy features that would maintain the safe family environment necessary for sustainable and continuous growth," said David Sacks, CEO of Geni.

By default, user profiles can be seen only by those in their own blood tree or in directly-connected inlaw trees. Inlaws of inlaws are limited to seeing search results only.

About Geni.com:
Geni is like a time capsule for your family that you can open anytime. With some family participation in Geni, descendants will no longer have to wonder what their ancestors were really like.

Geni, Inc. was founded in 2006 by former executives and early employees of PayPal, Yahoo! Groups, Ebay, and Tribe. It is backed by venture capital firms Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures.

Geni launched in 2007 and has won numerous accolades. The 2007 Webware 100 Awards named it one of the top 100 sites on the internet and one of the top 10 reference sites. Geni was named again in 2008 in the social networking category. In March 2008 PC Magazine named Geni a top free software application. In May 2008 Time™ Magazine named Geni.com one of the top 50 Websites in 2008. Last month Family Tree Magazine named Geni to its list of 101 Best Websites.

1 comment:

Scott said...

This article needs to be updated! When the Geni User David K (in the article) noted the jump in tree size, it was due to his tree merging with my family tree (which was at the time close to 200,000 profiles prior to merging with other trees). David K was one of the first people to "test" the public Beta tree merge function and is still a very active and helpful member of our extended tree. However, now our total tree is close to 4-million profiles and growing daily! In fact, our tree went from 3-million a week ago to 3.6-million as of yesterday (December 1, 2008)!

I have been a Geni.com user for almost 2 years (since January 17th 2007) and am still as obsessed as the first day I found Geni.

Geni.com user ScotHibb