Photo: Gilad Japhet/MyHeritage
MyHeritage, one of the world’s biggest online genealogy communities, is a runaway success. But it’s not stopping there: it’s going after a huge social opportunity, that Twitter and especially Facebook missed.MyHeritage wants to be the family social network.
People join MyHeritage to build and explore their family trees. Once they do that, they’re encouraged to reach out to family members and stay in touch with their families.
In an interview, MyHeritage Founder/CEO Gilad Japhet told us that non-genealogy activities on the site are already 25% of the usage, and growing fast.
Facebook makes it too complicated for people to set up groups and lists to share specifically with their family. This may be the opportunity that Google+ will tackle, and Japhet takes Google+ and its social circles as validation of its mission.
Twitter is a broadcast medium, and Facebook is really a sharing network for one’s extended social network, but there is an opportunity for a social service focused on families which are, after all, the most basic and important human unit.
For example, MyHeritage has introduced a clever social payment product where families chip in and motivate each other to buy a premium subscription.
“There are already some 800 million profiles on MyHeritage, and we will soon surpass one billion. We would like to convert half of them (living people) to active members so that MyHeritage will become the de facto social nework for families. It will take us time to get there, but…5-10 years down the line, I hope that is where we will be,” Japhet told us.