We're happy to report that by the end of this week a new mobile experience will be rolled out to all Ning Networks. This upgrade is a complete re-write of the old Ning mobile experience. It's built-in, completely free, and offers a lot more options for driving activity.
The contrast between the old and new couldn't be more different. The old mobile interface was originally released around the same time Apple unveiled their App Store. We've been upgrading the mobile version regularly over time, but we knew it was high time for a thorough rebuild and redesign. We chose future-friendly HTML5 because it allows us to create a great-looking experience across numerous mobile devices. We were able to create something that's high quality and that provides a frictionless experience for users. And it's an excellent base for adding more to the mobile version down the road. Let's take a look at a few things the new Ning Mobile offers.
The old and new are radically different, but the look of the new probably won't throw you for a loop. It's designed in a familiar app-like way. It provides the same kind of swiping and tapping gestures most people are used to performing with their iOS and Android devices. It's optimized for smartphones so your members can access it easily with the devices they already use every day. You won't need any advanced design skills or a $100 Apple App Store developer's license to publish, either. The new mobile version will be consistent and running in the background all the time. Most important: It's very stable.
While the old version didn't provide many options for customization, the new Ning Mobile lets Ning Creators choose which features and pages they want to appear — in the order they prefer. There's also many more features available in the new mobile experience. You can add pages to display Latest Activity, Members, Blogs, Photos, Forum, a member's Profile Page, Groups, Events, an RSS feed, and even custom HTML pages. This greatly expands a Ning community's mobile presence and possibilities, and we're excited to watch as the entire Ning Platform adopts this new mobile version.
Most of the administrative settings will probably be pretty self-explanatory. A few details to keep in mind:
As always, we're big fans of our customers' opinions, so let us know what you think about the new mobile version. How have your members used the mobile version of Ning in the past? What can we do to help make their mobile experience even better going forward — and make your community even more vibrant and active?
Are you going to add more features later?
Undoubtedly! We've included as much as we could with this initial release. It includes a whole lot more than the old version ever did, but the new mobile interface will still not contain every detail of your Ning Network. The most-used features are included, but we may add more features over time. For example, adding chat or private messaging capabilities are requests we've heard from Network Creators.
Can I customize the design using advanced CSS?
One major goal of this project has been to make the viewing experience as standardized, compact and reliable as possible, so there aren't any CSS design alteration options at this point.
Can I change some of the wording of the interface?
Yes! Many new language strings for the mobile version have been added to the Language Editor, so chances are you can change the wording where you like.
Can I run ads on my mobile site?
We'll be rolling out an optional ad solution for Network Creators shortly that will include the ability to run Ning Ads on the desktop and mobile versions of your site.
Will tablet users see the same thing as smartphone users?
We've initially chosen to point tablet users to the desktop version. However, we'll be watching usage by tablets carefully, and we may change this in the future and provide an option for you to control this detail.
Can my members upload photos?
This depends on your phone or tablet computer. Many mobile browsers include the ability to upload photos, but the iPhone and iPad do not currently include this capability. However, Apple has indicated that the upcoming iOS 6 version of their software will include the ability for the mobile Safari browser to upload photos. Apple has said this upgrade will happen this fall.
Can I create my own Apple or Android app?
We've focused the Ning Mobile project on designing the mobile web interface, but if you do want a specially branded app, we heartily recommend our third-party partner, ShoutEm. They make beautiful apps for networks that require a higher level of branding or a specialized member experience.
I'm not able to set up an RSS feed for mobile.
I try to add it, but it never gets added to the mobile page lineup.
There might be an issue with the feed. Can you let me know the url of the feed you're trying to add?
A heads up to everyone that there is a heated discussion going on here about the decision NOT to let us run our own ads on the mobile version. At the moment it's "Ning/Glam ads" or no ads. Please add your thoughts, Ning does listen.
This is really important for everyone that sells ads on their site. The mobile site will become increasingly more important as time goes on. It accounts for 27% of my visits now and that percentage is rising.
What this decision by Ning means is that I cannot display the ads I sell to my customers on those mobile pages. Soon 50% of our visits will be from mobile devices (since iPads and other tablets are automatically directed to the mobile site). So then I won't be able to sell ads or display them to those users. My ability to earn money from ads will continue to erode.
We really need to have the ability to place our own ad tags on our mobile pages. Why would Ning not let us run our own ads there? This is completely unacceptable.
Please Ning, let us run our own ads on the mobile site just like we can run ads on our main site. Failure to do this will alienate all your larger Pro sites (except those involved with fashion and women's issues - the stuff Glam Networks is aimed at.) The rest of us don't want those ads. We want to run the ads we have already sold to our advertisers.
I don't know about other tablets, but iPads are not directed to mobile sites in Ning. The screen is big enough to suft net in the normal sites and it would be a waste to use mobile version on it.
That is correct, Paintball.fi. The iPad will show the desktop version by default. We talked about it a little bit in the beta, and so far we're doing it this way. We may change this based on how people use it or what people think about what should display by default.
If you want to run your own ads on the mobile site, please add your support to this discussion: http://creators.ning.com/forum/topics/what-do-you-want-from-ads-on-...
Ning is listening, if enough of us make our needs known then they will accommodate us.
You can't add support to that discussion unless you are a member of that "invitation only" group. That is a group discussion not a forum discussion.
A similar discussion needs to be started in the main forum so that all that wish to support the freedom to place our own ads on our mobile sites can support it. Right now, only 240 members of that "invitation only" group can comment there.
I didn't even realise, sorry!
I can't find the new version in the App Store. There is only the old version from 2010 where I can't login because of an error: "Login failed - Network connection unavailable." (although I am online with 3G).
Can you tell me where I can find the new NING mobile version?
itsaz not an app its the mobvile formatted site
just add m after your sites url
Ok, how do members download the mobile app?