NBC Uni's iVillage unveils social net platform


NBC Universal's iVillage has unveiled iVillage Connect, a new social networking platform that is aimed at bringing the women's community site into the MySpace era.

The new platform -- which the site touts as being "the social network for grownups" -- lets iVillage users set up personal profiles through which they can share photos, blog and create various affinity groups. According to iVillage officials, iVillage Connect, which debuted in beta form this week, is meant to serve as the next evolution of the site's thousand-plus active message boards.

"Our first message boards sparked a revolution in how women communicated with each other," said iVillage president Deborah Fine. "It was social networking before the phrase was even coined. With the addition of these new tools, iVillage remains the ultimate social network for women."

To test out those new tools, iVillage has tapped its group of community leaders -- i.e. the women who host the site's various message boards, to test drive iVillage Connect. To date, groups such as Military Wives and Adult Children of Alcoholics have already been established using the new platform.