We're happy to report that one of our Product Roadmap projects is now ready to go: improvements to the invitation system. Some of the goals of this project were to make it look nicer — and it does look nicer! But there were other details that may be less apparent that we think will massively improve the usability of invitations and encourage members to invite more people. So, what's new?
First and foremost, we added a bunch of new services. The big ones: You and your members now have the ability to invite your Facebook and LinkedIn contacts. These are huge services, and they will surely lead to an increase in the number of invitations and members. They also work great for almost all NCs, whether your network is focused on shout-outs and silliness or serious business networking. Hotmail has gone away, but it has been replaced by Windows Live, the much more widely used umbrella service from Microsoft (used quite a bit internationally, in particular). We've removed AOL from the list of services supported. It was rarely used, and it was the most likely candidate for removal.
You'll notice that the interface for this is now a lot more friendly. Even better, you'll notice that you can now drag and drop the services and even reorder them into the order you prefer on a straightforward, tabbed interface. Want to find a particular friend? The friends list shows up automatically for each servie that is enabled. Start typing and the live search will look them up. No endless scrolling to find them. Need the invite link? Click on it, and we'll paste it directly onto your clipboard. All in all, it's much easier to use.
Everything related to invites is now in one spot, including invite sharing permissions and links you can share and recreate for invitation purposes. You'll see these settings as an "Options" drop-down menu when you're on an Invite page. Or, find them on your dashboard under Settings > Invitation.
You now have more control over invitations. For example, don't like Yahoo for invitations? You can drag that one out of the mix. We expect most of you will want to add most or all of the supported services, but if there are some that don't work for you, some of them can be completely removed.
Integrated with Events
The new interface replaces the old one and is already enabled for you with the exception of Facebook and LinkedIn invites. Head to the new Settings > Invitation area of your dashboard and drag these new services to the active area. If you've already set up a Facebook Sharing App, this will work automatically. For a LinkedIn App, you'll be prompted to add a snippet of code. If you've never set up either of these types of apps, you'll be prompted to set them up.
How to turn things on
Head to the new Settings > Invitation area of your dashboard and drag the new services you want to use into the active area. If you've already set up a Facebook Sharing App, this will work automatically. For a LinkedIn App, you'll be prompted to add a snippet of code. If you've never set up either of these types of apps, you'll be prompted to set them up. Need some guidance? Check out our Help Center for more info about how to Invite People to Your Network.
The only caveat to be aware of with these improvements is that there is one limitation imposed by Facebook and one by LinkedIn when it comes to invites. Facebook requires that invitations be sent individually, so you won't be able to select all of your Facebook friends en masse. LinkedIn has a limit of 10 invites per day. Other than that, you should find that these invitation improvements are sure to be another way to grow your membership, so feel free to turn them on and encourage your members to invite more people whenever you're ready.
nice update Eric
likwise pat! lol i wrote a HUGE discussion about this just yesterday stating that I wouldve preferred the ability to invite friends from facebook and other social sites and they add it today (LOL) but overall its gonna increase all of our sites activity as well as traffic and members
Haha! Yes indeed, Armani!
Eric, Ning Team, you are literally the best! Thanks for this!!! :D
WooT, WooT!! Insanely awesome!!! Fantastic job!!
Wow, thank you so much!
WOW AT LAAAAAAAAAST WELL DONE! Ning team