What is SocialEngine?
SocialEngine is a paid application used to create social networks. It supports several different types of social frameworks, allows full customization of site appearance and layout, and includes a widgetized content management system with drag-and-drop layout control. SocialEngine is supported by an in-house support team and backed by an extensive third-party developer network.
SocialEngine is exactly what you would expect to get from a premium social network software suite. The feature list is extensive and includes highly customizable member profiles, a variety of network structures, customizable activity feeds, monetization through placed advertising and membership billing, anti-spam features, private messaging capability, an easy-to-use content management system, and much more.
SocialEngine comes in two flavors. SocialEngine PHP is a self-hosted software package installed on the server of your choice, and the focus of our review. While SocialEngine Cloud is a hosted software as a service (SaaS) application.
The core features of SocialEngine can be summarized in three categories: network structure, monetization, and administrative features.
SocialEngine supports many different network structures and types of member relationships. Two-way friendship (Facebook) and one-way follower (Twitter) relationship structures are supported. In addition, connections can be made by invitation-only, with invitations extended by members or admins. Privacy levels and member profiles are customizable as well, and member experience can be crafted by selecting from a variety of activity feed options.
Social networks built on SocialEngine can be monetized in two primary ways: paid subscriptions and placed advertisements. Membership management features are built into SocialEngine, and support for subscription billing and a range of billing cycles is extended. Ads can also be placed anywhere on a SocialEngine powered site, and the platform is Google Adsense compatible. SocialEngine provides filtering and targeting capabilities to get the right ads in front of the right members.
Powerful administrative tools are also included in the software. Strong anti-spam tools including CAPTCHA protection are built-in. Complete membership control, including privacy settings, member blocking, moderator accounts, and banning features are provided. The content management system is designed to be usable without the requirement to know any code, while allowing layout control using a drag-and-drop editor. The CMS also provides site-wide statistics and analytics.
In addition to these core features, which are included in every version of SocialEngine, many additional features are supported by upgraded versions of SocialEngine. Premium features include blogs, group creation, photo albums, event creation, forums, chat and IM, music sharing, classified ads, video sharing, polls, and more.