Multiply (website)

Multiply (website)
Multiply Homepage
Type of site Social networking, shopping
Registration Free
Available language(s) English, Japanese
Owner Peter Pezaris
Launched December, 2003
Alexa rank decrease 388 (November 2011)[1]

Multiply is a social networking service with an emphasis on allowing users to share media – such as photos, videos and blog entries – with their "real-world" network. It is currently the biggest "social shop" in Southeast Asia with over 125,000 merchants and 20 million unique visitors (Sept 10, 2010).



The website was launched in March 2004 and was privately held with backing by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Point Judith Capital, Transcosmos, and private investors.[2] Multiply has over 11 million registered users.[3] The company is headquarterd in Boca Raton, Florida. Quantcast estimated in 2006 that Multiply has 3.5 million monthly U.S. unique visitors.[4]

By 2010, Multiply had grown to around 20 million visitors, of which more than 5 million are from the Philippines. Today, it is owned by Naspers Inc. who has a controlling stake in Multiply.

Social sharing and shopping

Multiply's original purpose was to be a social networking site simply aimed at linking people. Over time, however, many of its users began using Multiply's features, such as photo sharing, and advanced customization (a Multiply page can be edited by simply dragging and dropping elements), as storefronts. This evolution led to online shopping.

Multiply's unique evolution path could be attributed to the site's emphasis on Media Sharing and Customization. It supports the automatic uploading of pictures, onsite photo editing, and advanced email-like newsfeeds.

Rather unusually, the Multiply staff has a strong relationship to its users. Multiply's developers personally befriend their site users using MUDS (Multiply Users & Developers Group), where users are encouraged to blog about feature suggestions

Multiply as a Social Platform

The concept of Multiply is similar to platforms such as Facebook, Hi5, Friendster, and Bebo. It has a "social network" structure requiring users to add their friends and contacts before interaction can happen. However, Multiply is interesting in the ways it diverges from the popular platforms. Most social networks focus on connecting people; Multiply focuses on content creation. In this respect, it is far closer to a blogging platform such as Wordpress.

Multiply's social model mirrors real-world relationships. In addition to the basic function of connecting with people, users are also encouraged to specify the nature of the relationship, be it friend, family, colleague, or online buddy. This in turn supports tiered information sharing, because posts can be shared among just family, colleagues, or friends, or even broadcast to the external network.

Multiply users gain access to more than just their "real life" friends and family. Information can also be shared with friends of friends, as well as groups. Groups exist outside of the "network" structure, enabling people with certain interests to share the aforementioned types of media with others who share their interests, but may not be closely connected to them through relationships.

Multiply as a Social Newsreader

Image on center

A social newsreader can be considered an alternative to email. This was a concept popularized by Facebook.

Multiply has had a newsfeed since its inception, variously called the "Explore" page, "My Multiply" and the "Inbox". This feed aggregates not only the user's posts, but those of the user's contacts, network and groups as well. The inbox alerts users not only to new posts by their contacts or within their network, but it also notifies users of new replies to posts that users have shown an interest in. If a user ignores a post, then the post is not popped to the top of the page no matter how many new replies are made. In this way, users don't need to "clean up" their inbox because uninteresting posts simply "drop off" the page.

The feed is highly customizable, allowing the user to set filters to show specific posts. Filters can be saved and users can easily switch between them. In this way, users are only alerted to posts and replies that are interesting to them, though they can switch to a "wider" view of network or group activity when that is preferred.

Partnership with Meebo

Multiply provides real-time chat with other Multiply users. However, in Sept 2009 the company partnered with Meebo to allow real-time chat with any external network, including Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, MSN, Windows Live, Gtalk, and AIM.

Multiply as a Content Creation Platform

1) Summary of Features

Multiply is essentially a one-stop shop for a user's Web 2.0 experience.[5] Its bid is enhanced by the capabilities with which it empowers its users. There is a blog module, of course, but beyond that, users can upload videos, and host them on their pages rather than on third-party pages. Videos can also be added from major sites, notably YouTube. The user can also upload unlimited photos into their albums, hosted in the photo module. There are also modules for music, reviews, links, recipes, and a personal marketplace.

2) Personalized Websites

A blog traditionally follows a linear format (each entry rests above the other in chronological order regardless of the type of content that is included in the post). Though it is possible to have a traditional style blog on Multiply, content can also be organized according to the type of post (text, video, photo, etc.) or by topic (using tagged content boxes).[6] By organizing posts based on topic or type of media, a user can essentially create a personal web page.

Multiply is especially flexible in that users can choose to edit their background and theme colors, but the ability to incorporate CSS makes customizing more extensive.[7] Many users have pages far different from the base theme due to their mastery of CSS. In addition to such features, it also uses a simple "drag-n-drop" interface to allow non-experts to easily create a highly personalized website. Example:

Image on center

3) Advanced Blogging

Blog posts on Multiply include the ability to easily change font style, type, color or size. Photos can be added and moved about within the post. A poll can be included and files can be attached.[8] Users can use Multiply's WYSIWYG blog editor or edit HTML directly.[9]

As with all types of posts on Multiply, users can set privacy settings on a per post basis, enabling a user to essentially run a private blog for friends and family right on top of, or embedded within, a public blog. (In other words, a user can post thoughts on politics to a public audience while reserving posts on the cute things the kids did for only friends and family. Both types of posts are treated the same by Multiply in terms of alerts to the poster and the poster's contacts, but the privacy settings limit the content to only those that the user wants to give access to.)

Multiply provides blog cross-posting; blog entries posted to Multiply can be automatically posted to a LiveJournal, Blogger or TypePad account. There is also an option to post via e-mail or MMS, enabling posting from mobile phones. Users can also post reviews (of movies and books, for example), and to share a calendar of events. Multiply also recently reintroduced the Marketplace and Recipes modules, which allow users to share interests in purchases, and favorite foods and drinks.[10]

4) Unlimited Photo Sharing

All accounts on Multiply include the ability to add an unlimited number of photos.[11] In addition to being able to share photos with contacts on Multiply, users can also let non-Multiply members see even their private photos by using the "share" link. Photos in albums can be embedded into other posts or replies on Multiply, or they can be hotlinked outside of Multiply, in which case a watermark is added.

Multiply allows automatic photo uploads using an Adobe AIR program. This works by asking users to specify a folder into their computer and consistently polling that folder for new or edited pictures. If detected, it is then uploaded into a Media Locker where it can be batch integrated into albums. This empowers members to utilize Multiply as an online Photo Repository, although full-resolution pictures are restricted to only Premium members.

Multiply offers some editing capabilities for photos: Photos can be rotated and a variety of picture frames can be added. Using the Multiply Media Locker users can crop photos, eliminate red eye, retouch photos, adjust contrast, exposure, and saturation. There is also an Auto Fix function that will adjust your photos with one click. All of the adjustments are reversible until you click to apply them.

Multiply has partnered with QOOP for photo printing and other photo services.

5) Videos

Users can easily upload videos directly to Multiply, or they can pull video in from YouTube, Photobucket, Google Video, Metacafe, or Free users can upload up to 10 minutes (or 100mb of video footage). Premium members have a limit of 20 minutes (or 200mb).[12]

6) Calendar

Users can post calendar entries for themselves, for their contacts, their network or even for public access (enabling users to keep personal entries, such as doctor appointments, private, while allowing a wider audience for such entries as a fund raising event that is open to the public).

Users have access to an aggregated calendar on their Inbox page that collects all of their calendar entries as well as those of their contacts and displays them in one calendar feed.

Calendar entries, as with all entries on Multiply, can be discussed within the calendar entry post, enabling members to not only announce an event, but discuss it as well.

7) Reviews

Users can add reviews to their website, not only view on the product, but discussing it as well with friends and family. Reviews use a 5 star system so both those who post and those who reply can rate how well they liked a product.

8) Recipes

The recipe section was a component of Multiply at the time of its launch in 2004, but it was removed for a time. The recipe and marketplace sections were returned in 2007 due to popular demand.

9) Marketplace

The marketplace section is designed to be a way to showcase items that a person may want to pass on to contacts or to search for an item that a user's contacts may have.

10) Music

Since its inception the website has allowed users to upload music playlists to their profile page. Initially users could upload up to 10 songs at a time with an unlimited number of songs allowed on any given playlist (they could upload more songs after the first ten by starting a second upload and specifying that they should be added to a pre-existing playlist.) This brought the site initial popularity due to the ease in which people could share pirated digital music. Originally one could download each track individually in mp3 format.

In order to combat illegal music sharing (as the intent was for users to be able to share only music that they had the legal right to,) the site cut the maximum uploads at one time to five, and then to three. They then removed the ability to easily right click and download each individual track and instead put a link to a *.m3u playlist file. However users could simply save that file and open it with a text editor, and then cut and paste the individual file links and save the mp3 files.

In July 2008 the site removed the ability to download the *.m3u playlist file and replaced it with an embedded music player. However users can still use third party software to obtain the original mp3 files (which are also stored in a computer's download cache.) Nonetheless, these changes (as well as the large number of users forcibly removed from the site due to copyright violations) have affected the size of the user base.

Migration from MSN Groups

In February 2009, MSN Groups closed to make way for the new Windows Live Groups. Communities hosted on the old MSN Groups service can not be migrated across to the new platform. As such MSN have worked with Multiply to create a tool which allowed group owners to move their MSN Groups community over to the Multiply service.

This move by MSN and Multiply succeeded in killing off a large number of MSN Groups communities. This was due to the fact that the migration process was rather complex, essentially creating a new group, importing content from the old one.

This meant that all existing MSN users had to re-join the new group, and if the old community located on MSN Groups was not closed by the owner after the migration process, any changes made afterwords were be lost when the service closed.

Details of the migration process can be found on the MSN Groups homepage.

Awards & recognitions

In 2008, Multiply was named Open Web Awards finalist[13]

See also


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ Red Herring, "VCs Count on"
  3. ^ [1], "Multiply is Multiplying: Page Views Double to 600MM Year-over-Year"
  4. ^
  5. ^ Multiply Corporate Page, About Multiply
  6. ^ [2], "New tag stuff (plus bonus video option!)"
  7. ^ CSS Interface, Customize Multiply Page CSS Interface
  8. ^ Multiply Staff Blog, "Featured Feature: Blog Attachments"
  9. ^ Multiply Staff Blog, "New & improved HTML editing"
  10. ^ Multiply Corporate Blog, "New audio/video stuff. Better alert things. Generally more goodness"
  11. ^ [3], "No more limits"
  12. ^ Multiply Staff Blog, "Introducing the Multiply AutoUploader, Media Locker, Premium Service"
  13. ^ 2nd Annual Open Web Awards

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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