Social networking software can be divided into three categories:

White label solutions,

In-house development of an entire social networking software

Off the shelf products with ownership rights,

White Label products should be the cheapest social networking software available, with Off The Shelf requiring a larger up-front investment. In-house development costs would vary greatly depending on the scope of the site to be built. A simple site could be cost effective to implement in-house, while a more feature-rich site could be more effectively implemented using Off the shelf community software.

Here's a list of commonly used social networking software products:

Some examples of White label products are: Ning and SocialGo.

Ning is still one of the best and cheap solutions for your social networking requirements.

Ning is as of July 2010 started charging for its social networking platform. Ning even with its latest announcement still represents a very inexpensive entry point for social networking.

If you're building a social site as a marketing tool for your current site or business I think it's better to use existing social networking platforms white label sites like Ning.

The differences between a Ning-based social network and a proprietary private social network include: The organization using Ning has to build and maintain the social network. That is not the case for products like Workingrooms, Communitirooms and Recess.

Ning functionality does not address all of the requirements of business social networks. Applications like mentoring, document sharing and collaboration, rewards programs for contributions to collective knowledge, and even the concept of virtual meeting spaces (rooms) are not to be found in Ning.

Off the shelf products include:

IBM Lotis products connections,, These solutions are most suitable for medium to large companies.

In-house development:

The platforms like Drupal, Ruby on rails are widely used to develop social networking sites. There are many companies that develop private social networking applications. These applications are hosted behind the firewall and scalable from single room social networks to multi-room, multi-tier social networks.

They are priced from as little as $2,500 per year for a small site to as much as $125,000 for a Fortune 50 company. Since they are hosted new functionality is automatically added in every new build and all features of social networking are included along with functionality not normally found in public social networking platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

If you have a small Budget and it does not allow you to consider a custom-built social networking solution, then cheaper social networking software might be a good solution for a small business owner.

Check main online community software features and click on social network script to decide which of the solutions suits you the best.

One of the best commercial tools is PHPFOX because it is a robust, affordable and popular social networking software; it provides a wide range of functionality.

PHPFOX provides an active user forum where script developers, script users and prospective customers can interact, ask questions and get feedback.

PHPFOX , is a social networking script that powers thousands of online communities.

PHPFOX delivers by default modules such as forums, photo, blogs, user profile, quizzes, groups, video, music, polls, events, classified/marketplace and an admin panel where the site owner/administrator can manage their phpFox site. Site owners who want to install additional features can use an area called "Customize" where they can get add-ons made by third party developers.

Social networking tools and aggregators provide enormous opportunities to manage your time effectively and provide maximum automation for your online business.

Return from Social networking software to Social Networking Bible