Flux Takes Off

The Viacom-backed Flux social network, which launched just last September, is really taking off.

Flux is a partially distributed social network. Like Ning (and more recently KickApps), it’s a place for sites to easily create a new social network, or bolt a social network onto an existing site, and add users from other platform social networks with a single click. Ning has the benefit of a big head start and over $44 million in funding. Since launching way back in late 2005, 165,000+ social networks have been created on Ning.

The two companies are serious rivals. In late November we published a point-by-point comparison of Flux and Ning as seen by Ning CEO Gina Bianchini. Few punches were pulled.

Flux is only a few months old, but had the benefit of not only Viacom’s money but also their brands – at launch hundreds of Viacom properties launched Flux social networks, including their MTV brands. In late November they opened the platform and anyone could join and create a social network.

Today, Flux says, they have grown to over a million registered members and 2,000 self-service created social networks. They also also released a developer API to give users more flexibility in creating social networks.

Flux may have far fewer social networks than Ning at this point, but the heft of the Viacom properties is clearly giving it a traffic boost. Comscore says Flux now has 5.8 million monthly unique visitors, compared to just 2.1 million for Ning (update: it has been pointed out in the comments that Compete data tells a different story).

Update 2: Flux may be taking off, but not as much as we thought. The January spike in the comScore data was a little suspicious, so we asked comScore to double-check that it was right. Turns out it was an “artificial increase” due to traffic not requested by users. comScore is revising its numbers to filter out the bad data. We’ll let you know what those are as soon as we hear.