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TAGGED is a social discovery website based in San Francisco
San Francisco
, California
California
, founded in 2004. It allows members to browse the profiles of any other members, and share tags and virtual gifts. Tagged
Tagged
claims it has 300 million members. As of September 2011, Quantcast
Quantcast
estimates Tagged
Tagged
monthly unique users at 5.9 million in the United States, and 18.6 million globally. Michael Arrington
Michael Arrington
wrote in April 2011 that Tagged
Tagged
is most notable for the ability to grow profitably during the era of Facebook.

In 2009, Tagged
Tagged
was criticized for sending deceptive bulk email and paid $1.4 million in legal settlements regarding those practices. The company has since adopted privacy reforms and changed its invitation processes.

Owned by Ifwe, Inc., it is an Inc. 500 company ranking #476 on the 2010 Inc. list of fastest-growing independent U.S. private companies and #80 on Forbes
Forbes
' 2011 list of America's Most Promising Companies.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Deceptive bulk email * 1.2 Aborted IPO, shift in focus

* 2 Website

* 2.1 Mobile versions * 2.2 Social games

* 3 Child safety * 4 User demographics and site traffic * 5 References * 6 External links

HISTORY

Tagged
Tagged
Inc. was co-founded in mid-2004 by entrepreneurs Greg Tseng and Johann Schleier-Smith, who wanted to build a "Teen Yahoo!
Yahoo!
or the next MTV
MTV
". The pair had formerly co-founded internet incubator Jumpstart Technologies, which was later fined $900,000 for alleged violations of the CAN-SPAM Act , then the largest-ever penalty for spam.

In September 2005 the company raised $1.5 million in angel investor funding and three months later raised an additional $7 million from Mayfield Fund
Mayfield Fund
, a venture capital firm .

Originally an under-18 site, Tagged
Tagged
allowed users of any age to join from October 2006.

In March 2008, Microsoft
Microsoft
announced a commercial partnership with social networking sites Tagged, Facebook
Facebook
, LinkedIn
LinkedIn
, Bebo , and hi5 regarding email contacts APIs , which has since been implemented. Other past and current Tagged
Tagged
partnerships have included Slide , RockYou , PhotoBucket , Meebo
Meebo
, Razz, and Jangl. In February 2009, following complaints from the public Tagged
Tagged
was blocked in Qatar
Qatar
by the only ISP, Qtel, due to inappropriate content that Qtel could not selectively filter. Tagged.com had been one of the top ten most visited sites in Qatar.

In January 2010, Tagged
Tagged
announced that it was donating $50,000 to the Yéle Haiti Earthquake Fund , partly stemming from user donations. In the same month, Tagged
Tagged
won a $200,000 judgment against Erik Voegler, who was spamming other Tagged
Tagged
users.

In May 2010, Tagged
Tagged
was named in Lead411's "2010 Hottest San Francisco Companies", a list of the fastest-growing companies in the software, wireless, internet, and media industries, and in October 2010, Tagged
Tagged
ranked #100 on Deloitte
Deloitte
's list of the top 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.

In April 2011, Tagged
Tagged
acquired Digsby, a multi-protocol instant messenger and social network notification client for Windows
Windows
with 3 million registered users.

As of October 2011, Tagged
Tagged
had 150 employees, an increase from 55 employees at the beginning of 2011. CEO Greg Tseng continues to interview employees, cater lunch and dinner, and hold office-wide meetings every Friday. Tagged
Tagged
is a member of the Social Media Advertising Consortium, a trade industry association that aims to increase advertising revenue and to facilitate collaboration among social networking sites, advertisers, and marketing researchers.

In September 2011, Tagged
Tagged
made a second acquisition, the gaming application WeGame.

In November 2011, Tagged
Tagged
was named to the Forbes
Forbes
list of "America's Most Promising Companies".

In December 2011, Tagged
Tagged
acquired Hi5
Hi5
Networks Inc. , which was once the third-largest social network behind Facebook
Facebook
and MySpace
MySpace
. The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, added Hi5's 230 million members to Tagged's base of 100 million registered users.

Also in December 2011, Tagged
Tagged
acquired Topicmarks, a natural language processing and machine learning company.

DECEPTIVE BULK EMAIL

See also: Badoo § Deceptive bulk email Between April and June 2009, Tagged
Tagged
sent tens of millions of misleading spam emails like this one, which falsely stated that a contact sent photographs to the recipient.

In June 2009, Time magazine columnist Sean Gregory called Tagged
Tagged
"The world's most annoying website". Tagged
Tagged
asked users for their email username and password, retrieved email addresses from their address books, and repeatedly sent email invitations to people who were not registered on Tagged, falsely stating that they have been "added as a friend" or that the inviter had sent them photos on Tagged. This process has been labelled an "e-mail scam" by consumer anti-fraud advocates and drawn criticism in the technology press and from users. The emails were discussed as possible spam by Black Web 2.0 and the resemblance to a virus was noted by urban legend site Snopes.com
Snopes.com
. The New York Times
New York Times
referred to the practice as "contact scraping ".

In July 2009 New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo
announced his intention to sue Tagged
Tagged
for "deceptive email marketing and invasion of privacy". Tagged
Tagged
reached a settlement in which it agreed to pay $500,000 and to modify its promotional practices. Simultaneously, Tagged
Tagged
settled an enforcement action by the state of Texas, agreeing to pay $250,000 in penalties and fees. Conditions of the settlement included "clear and conspicuous" disclosure of the use of information in the user's email address book, providing a clear method to skip the step and display to users the specific emails to be sent. Tagged
Tagged
has adopted these reforms and changed its invitation processes.

In February 2010, Tagged
Tagged
settled a class action lawsuit about its former registration process with California
California
residents Miriam Slater and Sara Golden and awarded them $10,000 each. Tagged
Tagged
also agreed to destroy email addresses that were collected from users between April and June 2009, if those users did not mean to invite their contacts to the site.

In April 2010, San Francisco
San Francisco
District Attorney Kamala Harris announced that Tagged
Tagged
agreed to pay $650,000 to settle claims of deceptive emails. This settlement related to emails sent from April 2009 through June 2009.

ABORTED IPO, SHIFT IN FOCUS

In October 2014, Tagged
Tagged
aborted plans to perform an initial public offering , citing decreased revenue due to the proliferation of mobile devices. On October 16, 2014, Tagged
Tagged
performed a number of changes at the corporate level, including acquiring the social messaging startup Tinode and naming its co-founders, Dash Gopinath and Gene Sokolov, to the positions of chief product officer and senior vice president of engineering respectively. Tagged
Tagged
also announced that its parent company would be re-named Ifwe, Inc. (stylized If(we), and that the company overall would focus on becoming an incubator for new mobile software, although it will continue to run Tagged
Tagged
and Hi5.

WEBSITE

After registering a free account, Tagged
Tagged
users can customize their profile page, to which they can post a biography about themselves and their interests, post status updates, upload photos, and send and receive messages. There is also an option to upgrade the membership for a monthly fee, which allows users to see which other users have recently viewed their profile, among other additional features. They can also sort videos by most viewed, top rated, and most liked, and send virtual gifts to their friends. Virtual gifts are bought with "gold " which users buy with actual money or receive by completing special offers or tasks. There are chat rooms where users engage in real time online chat according to their age and mood. Designed to facilitate relationships and dating, Tagged
Tagged
allows users to send and receive notifications for "Luv", "Winks", and "Meet Me", a rating engine that allows users to rate the attractiveness of photos submitted by others. On October 30, 2009, Tagged
Tagged
announced a simpler signup process.

MOBILE VERSIONS

Tagged
Tagged
developed a mobile version of its site in April 2011, making Tagged
Tagged
more usable by smartphones with a mobile internet browser . This version allows users to send and receive friend requests, play games, and send messages. This mobile version also offers location-based, real-time chat for users. Tagged
Tagged
began offering an iPhone application from July 2010, which was downloaded more than 100,000 times in its first week. Tagged's Android application became available in March 2011. By April 2011, the Android versions, had slightly more users than on the iPhone application, and in May 2011 it was the number three social networking application on the Android. In the latest update of their iOS and Android Apps, Tagged
Tagged
has added the capability of refreshing data by using the "pulling down" gesture and loading more data by using the "pulling up" gesture. In June 2011 Tagged
Tagged
launched its first BlackBerry
BlackBerry
application. Being a native application, it runs on a mixture of HTML and the device systems.

SOCIAL GAMES

Social games on Tagged
Tagged
differ from those on other social networking services, because players are encouraged to make new friends through the games. In May 2010, Tagged
Tagged
opened its own in-house gaming division. Leading the division is Andrew Pedersen, former vice president of the Pogo division of Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
. Tagged
Tagged
plans to create more social games, several of which are already in development. Together with its acquisition of Digsby, Tagged's focus on social games signals an attempt to add more social communication options to its platform.

Launched in 2008, Pets was Tagged's first game and, as of May 2011, remains the most popular. Similar to a fantasy sports league, players use virtual cash to "buy" others and own them like pets, then barter them with other players or sell at a set price. Virtual cash can be earned by players in several ways, such as frequently logging into Tagged, converting Tagged
Tagged
gold at the Pets Cash Bar into Pets Cash and using real money.

Farm was introduced in May 2011. Unlike Zynga 's Farmville on Facebook, there is no animation or farmer. Advancement is based on virtual money earned by harvesting plants and animals in the game. Other past games on Tagged
Tagged
included Zynga games such as Mafia Wars "> , Alexa rankings suggest the popularity of Tagged
Tagged
peaked in early 2009 and has been declining since. Each month Tagged
Tagged
is visited by 5.9 million American users and 18.6 million users worldwide. Hitwise
Hitwise
data shows that between December 2008 and December 2009 Facebook
Facebook
drove category growth, and the only other site to grow in market share during that period was Tagged, which increased its share by 35%. In September 2009, Tagged
Tagged
had a 2.38% share of the social networking site market in the United States based on monthly visits.

Though originally a teen-only site, Tagged
Tagged
now has more members in the 35- to 49-year-old group than in any other; teens in the United States now account for 10% of its members. Sixty-four percent of users earn under $60,000 per year and 60% have less than a college education. In the United States, users of Tagged
Tagged
are more likely than Internet users in general to be female or African American
African American
.

Eighty percent of Tagged
Tagged
users also use Facebook
Facebook
. According to ComScore
ComScore
December 2009 data, users spent two minutes longer on average on Tagged
Tagged
than Facebook
Facebook
users do on Facebook.

In May 2010, ComScore
ComScore
reported that Tagged
Tagged
entered the top 10 U.S. Online Display Ad Publishers for the first time. Tagged.com was ranked at number 10 with a 0.6% share of the total market, having served 6.8 billion ads in the United States in the first quarter 2010.

In September 2010, Tagged
Tagged
surpassed 100 million registered members of which one quarter to one third are active monthly. Revenue grew to over $30 million, and 2011 revenue was predicted by Tseng to be over $50 million.

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C Wang, Jennifer (October 2011). "How Tagged
Tagged
Made a Turnaround for Growth". Entrepreneur . Retrieved October 22, 2011. * ^ "Tagged.com Site Info". Alexa Internet
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. Retrieved 2015-05-02. * ^ "ourWorld Integrated Into Tagged.com". Virtual Worlds News. March 1, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-14. * ^ Forrest, Conner (19 June 2014). "How Tagged
Tagged
sidestepped Facebook
Facebook
and stayed alive". TechRepublic . * ^ A B C D "tagged.com: Quantcast
Quantcast
Audience Profile". Quantcast
Quantcast
. Retrieved 2011-09-28. * ^ A B Arrington, Michael (April 19, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Buys Popular Social/Instant Messaging Client Digsby". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved 2011-06-16. * ^ A B Christopher Covert (April 8, 2007). "Spam Meets Web 2.0". Symantec
Symantec
Connect. Symantec
Symantec
. Retrieved 2010-01-14. * ^ A B Alina Tugend (June 19, 2009). "Typing in an E-Mail Address, and Giving Up Your Friends\' Too". New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ A B Gregory, Sean (June 11, 2009). "Tagged: The World\'s Most Annoying Website". Time . Retrieved June 11, 2009. * ^ Wendy Davis (April 13, 2010). "Fined Again, Tagged
Tagged
Pays $650K To San Fran Authorities". MediaPost Publications. Retrieved 2011-04-10. * ^ "Tagged.com Settles with N.Y., Texas over Privacy". San Francisco Chronicle. November 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ "Case Study: Battling a Media (and Legal) Firestorm". Inc. Retrieved 2013-06-14. * ^ "Tagged". Inc. 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-10. * ^ A B "America\'s Most Promising Companies". Forbes
Forbes
. 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-25. * ^ "Who Says Money Can\'t Buy Hipness?". BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
. Retrieved 2009-11-23. * ^ "Greg Tseng\'s speaker bio at the Authentication and Online Trust Summit 2007". Archived from the original on July 4, 2008. * ^ "FTC Slams Spammer in Pocketbook". Federal Trade Commission
Federal Trade Commission
. 2007-06-25. Archived from the original on 2011-04-12. * ^ A B C Michael Arrington
Michael Arrington
(May 9, 2007). " Tagged
Tagged
Turns Profitable – May Be Fastest Growing Social Network". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ John Richards (March 25, 2008). " Microsoft
Microsoft
Partners with Top Social Networks to Put Users at the Center of their Data". Live Services Blog. Retrieved 2010-01-08. * ^ Erick Schonfeld (March 25, 2008). " Microsoft
Microsoft
Embracing Data Portability? Partnerships With Facebook, Bebo, Hi5, LinkedIn
LinkedIn
and Tagged". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ Michael Arrington
Michael Arrington
(April 21, 2009). " Windows
Windows
Live To Add More Social Network Partners (Digg, MySpace, Facebook, Last.fm and More)". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ Erick Schonfeld (January 31, 2008). " Meebo
Meebo
Turns Chat Rooms Into A Web Service". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ "Press Release: Razz, Inc. Partners With Major Social Networking Site, Tagged". FierceWireless. July 26, 2007. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ "Jangl launches service with Tagged". San Francisco
San Francisco
Business Times . April 25, 2007. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ Joanna Hartley (9 February 2009). "Qtel blocks popular social networking site". Arabian Business. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ "Complaints forced Qtel to block top-rated site". The Peninsula at Gulf Base . February 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-11. * ^ " Tagged
Tagged
Donates $50,000 to Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund". Tagged press release. January 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-21. * ^ "Tagged.com Awarded $200,000 Judgment Against Spammer". Marketwire. January 29, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-13. * ^ "Hottest Companies in San Francisco". Lead411. May 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-02. * ^ "2010 Technology Fast 500 Rankings" (PDF). Deloitte
Deloitte
. 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-10. * ^ Gannes, Liz (April 19, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Buys Digsby IM Client". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2011-06-16. * ^ "About the Social Media Advertising Consortium". Social Media Advertising Consortium, Inc. 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ M. G. Siegler (September 21, 2011). "Social Discovery Meets Gaming Discovery: Tagged
Tagged
Buys WeGame". TechCrunch
TechCrunch
. Retrieved September 28, 2011. * ^ A B Shayndi Raice (December 14, 2011), Tagged
Tagged
Acquires Facebook Competitor Hi5, Wall Street Journal * ^ Chris Marlowe (December 15, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Acquires Social Network Competitor hi5". Digital Media Wire. * ^ Constine, Josh " Tagged
Tagged
Acquires Topicmarks", TechCrunch, December 9, 2011. * ^ A B " Attorney General Cuomo Announces Legal Action Against Social Networking Site That Raided Email Address Books, Stole Identities, and Spammed Millions of Americans". Office of the Attorney General , State of New York. July 9, 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ A B Barbara and David P. Mikkelson (November 14, 2009). "Tagged". Snopes.com
Snopes.com
. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ "Tagged.com Email Scam - "Your Friend Tagged
Tagged
You" - Phishing for Your Identity". Consumerfraudreporting.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09. * ^ Larry Seltzer (April 10, 2007). "Harvesting Teenagers". eWeek . Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ Allison Bruce (June 14, 2009). " Tagged
Tagged
e-mails grab your address book". Ventura County Star
Ventura County Star
. Retrieved 2010-10-11. * ^ User comments at McAfee Site Advisor * ^ "Did You Get Tagged
Tagged
Yet?". Black Web 2.0. Retrieved 2009-06-10.

* ^ Bray, Chad (November 9, 2009). "NY Attorney General: Tagged.com To Pay $500,000 Penalty". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. * ^ Jonathan Stempel (November 9, 2009). "Texas Settle with Tagged.com over e-mails". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-12-05. * ^ "Tagged.com settles with N.Y., Texas over privacy". San Francisco Chronicle. November 10, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-26. * ^ A B Wendy Davis (February 8, 2010). "Publications Social Net Tagged
Tagged
Agrees To Destroy Allegedly Ill-Begotten Email Addresses". MediaPost Publications. Retrieved 2010-02-13. * ^ "Tagged.com gets slapped by San Francisco
San Francisco
DA". LegalNewsline.com. April 13, 2010. * ^ "Dipping revenue leads Tagged
Tagged
to abort IPO plans, aim to develop new apps". San Francisco
San Francisco
Business Times. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 October 2014. * ^ " Tagged
Tagged
Rolls Out New and Improved Invite Process; Enhances Privacy and Security". Tagged
Tagged
Blog. October 30, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. * ^ A B Cutler, Kim-Mai (Apr 13, 2011). "Social Network Tagged
Tagged
Adds Mobile Website, Touches Up Android, iOS Apps". Inside Mobile Apps. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Khan, Azam (August 10, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Launches Social Discovery Mobile App With Real-Time Chat". Social Times. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Dawson, Carolyn J. (July 26, 2010). "100,000 Downloads Achieved by Tagged
Tagged
iPhone App Achieves in its Launch Week". TMCNews. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Spirrison, Brad (May 14, 2011). "How Tagged
Tagged
touches more members on Android". appolicious. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Alcon, Justin (November 7, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Adds Some Great Features to its Mobile App". Retrieved November 22, 2011. * ^ Mobile * ^ Atkins, Lucas (June 22, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Launches New BlackBerry App that Further Helps Consumers Connect On-The-Go". n4bb.com. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ A B Morrison, Chris (May 18, 2010). " Tagged
Tagged
Releases Second Social Game As It Turns to In-House Development". Inside Social Games. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ A B C Parr, Ben (May 17, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Opens Its Own Social Game Studio". Mashable
Mashable
. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Osborne, Joe (May 18, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
hires former EA, Pogo VP to run social games, compete with Facebook". Games.com Blog. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ AJ Glasser (May 26, 2011). " Tagged
Tagged
Looks to In-House Social Game Development for New Growth". Inside Social Games. Retrieved October 29, 2011. * ^ Sara Suddes (February 26, 2009). "High school math teacher arrested for sex crimes with 14-year-old". The Gilroy Dispatch. Retrieved 2009-12-13. * ^ "Cuomo: Social Networking Sites Agree to Remove Sex Offenders from Sites". WICZ-TV . December 10, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-08. * ^ " Attorney General Cuomo Takes Legal Action against Social Networking Site that Ignores Proliferation of Child Pornography". Office of the Attorney General, State of New York. June 10, 2010. Retr