FAST COMPANY - Mar 11 - Ning is a social platform that makes it easy for brands, bands, and anyone else to create social sites. When Ning launched its platform in 2007, Facebook had just started to experiment with advertising and nobody had heard of Twitter yet. While Facebook claims 4M pages for businesses alone, Ning hosts 2M sites altogether. It laid off 40% of its employees in 2010 before switching to a paid model (Ning sites now cost between $24.99 and $99.95 per month) and being acquired by Glam Media in 2011. But, Ning's leaders argue, the platform's moment may be yet to come. Ning will launch a redesign that will make it a better solution for large brands. Called Ning 3.0, the revamp makes the platform more appropriate for large communities--adding, for instance, flexible options to a feature that previously allowed every single member of a Ning site to start his or her own blog--and aggregates content from other social networks.