Geni is a genealogy and social networking website. Launched on January 16, 2007, the Web 2.0 company aims to create a family tree of the world. While family profiles are private, Geni’s mission is to create a shared family tree of common ancestors. By combining research into a single tree that users work on together, users can focus on verifying information and on new avenues of research, rather than spending time duplicating research that others have already done. Over 98.6 million profiles were created on Geni by over 5.8 million users as of December 2010. Geni was the original parent company of enterprise messaging service Yammer, which became part of Microsoft on July 19, 2012. In November 2012, Geni was acquired by MyHeritage.
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.
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