Geni Says Goodbye to Beta, Hello to New Features

By Allison Dolan

The free Los Angeles-based family networking site Geni, honored in May as one of Time magazine’s top 50 sites of 2008, has emerged from beta with new features including tree merging and video sharing.

Here’s how tree merging works: When you add an e-mail address to a profile, Geni looks for the address on existing trees. If found, the site sends a merge request to the person asking if they’d like the profiles merged. Conflict resolution tools help find and resolve duplicate people. Find more on tree merging in Geni’s online forum.

Video sharing is free and unlimited, with videos viewable only by your family. As with photos, you can tag videos by event name, creating a kind of virtual multimedia scrapbook of the event. Get more details—including supported file formats and browsers—on Geni’s Forum.

Other, smaller additions include a Recently Online notice of which family members have visited Geni recently, Tree Stats on your home page ,and a Complete Your Family module for inviting relatives to join you on Geni.

Former executives and early employees of such esteemed sites as PayPal, eGroups, eBay and Tribe launched privately held Geni in January 2007. Financial backing comes from venture capital firms Founders Fund and Charles River Ventures.