New Media Players & Chat February 26th (From the 23rd)
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Update: We’ll be putting this release out at 8pm PST tonight.

On February 23rd 26th, we’re releasing new video, photos, and music players as well as the major improvements to Chat we talked about a few weeks back. There will also be a few more visual changes you may notice as well.

Here’s the Screencast:

Today, your social network on Ning comes with video, photos, and music players that are uniquely branded for your social network. Your members can take these media players and embed them anywhere on the Internet, directing people back to your social network on Ning. Best of all, you can fully customize them to have your colors and your brand, which makes them totally integrated with your social network’s look and feel even when they are embedded all over place.

In this release, the video, photos, and music players on your social network are getting a new design and a few more features. These new media players should give your members even more ways to watch and share your social network’s videos, photos, and music or podcasts with each other on your social network or across the Internet.

New Video Player
Here’s the new video player. You can click on the screenshot here to see all of its various incarnations. It will assume the colors of your social network automatically:


The (high) video quality remains the same and the video player itself has a new design with updated icons and controls that match the theme and colors of your social network. Better yet, the buttons disappear when you move your mouse away from the controls. It will also play related or latest videos in a video playlist available at the end of each video.

New Photos Player
Here’s the new photo slideshow player. Again, you can click on the screenshot to see all of its various incarnations:


New Music Player
Last but not least, here’s the new music player:


Aside from the new visual design – which takes on your social network’s theme and colors – it’s quick and easy to jump around between songs and playlists are much easier to view and use. You can sort playlists by track number, title, artist, album or by the name of the person who added the track.

And, just as before, you can activate shuffle or repeat mode, change the volume, and rate songs. Your members can also pop out the music player into a new window, allowing them to continue listening to uninterrupted music as we browse the social network.

When these media players go live, there unfortunately won’t be the option to keep your social network’s existing player design. While we generally look to keep current options available, this is one of those cases – like the new Latest Activity feature – where we need to update it across the board. We welcome your feedback and will look to continue to improve them as we move forward.

New Chat
Here’s the new closed chat window at the bottom of your social network. As we’ve mentioned previously, Chat will now be persistent at the bottom of every page of your social network:


And here’s its open state:


As for new features, there are audio notifications and a few more you’ve been asking us for. Here’s our latest post on it.

A Few More Improvements
Rounding out the improvements in this release are a number of visual design changes.

The first change you’ll notice is a new default avatar to replace our previous “gray man”. Now the default avatar will take on the colors of your social network. If you want to replace this new default avatar, you have the option to upload your own default avatar for members who haven’t added their photos.

We’ve also removed the requirement for you to add an image when creating events and groups. As a result, we have new default event, group, and video images. You can also replace the default event or group image with your own choice, just like what you can do today with your default member avatar.

In smaller changes, we’re updating the Ningbar at the top of your social network with a few minor link adjustments and changing the button styles to make actions more obvious.

We’ll get a screencast out shortly which will hopefully bring these new features to life. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts and questions in the Ning Help Center. Thanks!