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URLwire for Friday, September 19, 2003 - Online news headline linking services are welcome to link to this story
Social Networking Site Comes out of Beta With 200,000 Members 
Social networking site completed a 90 day Beta testing stage this week. Quietly launched in June 2003, Ringo already has 200,000 members, with a growth rate of 10% per week. 
. has been launched by Birthday Alarm Inc., who had their first big Internet hit with the free birthday reminder service (3 million members and growing).
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No advertising has been done for the site, which allows members to interact online in their own personal and private community, with their friends, their friend's friends and also their friend's of friend's of friends. The resulting community is naturally a very personal and interesting one where people can make new friends through their existing friends.

Co-founder Paul Birch says "In many online communities, people hide behind ids with crazy names like 'fabboy21'. The people on are real, and behave responsibly because they know their friends are around".

Social Networking sites, such as Ringo, have been around for a while. was a success of the late nineties that based itself on the principle that everyone in the world is connected to everybody else through, at most, six people. was developed to take this concept a step further. "We wanted to develop communities where it is possible for people to exchange holiday homes, baby-sit for each other's children, pet-sit, house-sit, go out to the movies with new people, all safe in the knowledge that they are either friends of yours or known to you through your friends" explains Morgan Sowden, Ringo co-founder.

Ringo has a range of features to help people maximise the benefit of their personal community. People can send messages, post to their community forum, and create polls to see what their friend's think. Also available is help in organising offline events with Ringo friends and an online marketplace for trading amongst friends.

New features are being added to Ringo almost weekly. Coming soon is a Ringo Instant Messenger so people can see which of their Ringo friends are online, and they can then chat with them in real time.

"For those interested in dating they can upload their photo and choose to let others rate it." explains co-founder Michael Birch "If two people rate each other an 8 out of 10 or above and have elected to be matched then we send them both an email to tell them that there could be an interest. It's all light hearted and judging on looks alone is obviously very shallow, but it's a fun way to start a conversation!"

"We have a lot of experience running high traffic websites" explains co-founder Paul Birch ", for example, which launched in 2001, has 3 million members and is currently growing at 3 million a year. So when we launched, we knew what to do to get the viral growth".

"Yet even we were surprised at how fast things have moved" interjects Paul's brother  Michael "We were looking at the membership numbers (New Members) the first week, and were quite literally blown away".

Ringo has been launched by Birthday Alarm Inc, who had their first big Internet hit with the free birthday reminder service (3 million members and growing).

For further Information contact Paul or Michael via pressinfo(--at--)

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