Geni.com is a genealogy-related social networking website launched in beta mode on January 16 2007 by Web 2.0 company Geni, Inc. Over ten million profiles were created on Geni as of November 12, 2007.. Geni is also the parent company of instant messaging service Yammer.
At the website users enter names and email addresses of their parents, siblings, and other relatives, as well as profiles with various fields of biographical information about themselves and their relatives. From there users may graphically manipulate sections of their connections network to create a complete personal family tree.
The service uses the contact information to invite additional members to join, and builds a comprehensive social network database from the information collectively entered by members. For now users may only see information belonging to themselves and to people in their immediate network who have given them permission.
Users can also export a GEDCOM of their family tree from Geni.
Computer software company The Generations Network, maker of popular software title Family Tree Maker, has operated a paid genealogy subscription site and web portal since 1998 under brands MyFamily.com, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb.com and FamilyHistory.com. Geni.com, and WebBiographies, by contrast, are free.
Geni is to some extent modeled after social networking site LinkedIn, a popular site for business-related social networking.
After Geni's launch, several (mostly international) companies have appeared trying to copy its product and business model. For example, the German website Verwandt.de makes unauthorized usage of the Geni Flash application, and copies the family networking aspect of Geni in its entirety.
The Danish Web 2.0 company jointhefamily.net has similarities with Geni.com, but does not focus upon genealogy but upon building global, vivid networks like MySpace or Facebook with family relations alone connecting people.