MyHeritage -- Snaps Up Geni.com

Started by Peter Rohel on Wednesday, November 28, 2012

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11/28/2012 at 11:45 AM

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/11/28/myheritage-snaps-...

Email msg. from Noah Tutak:

I’m writing to you to let you know that we appreciate you as a valuable member of the Geni community and wanted you to be among the first to know some exciting news.

We created Geni in 2007 with one big idea – discovering your family history is better when you are collaborating with your relatives. Over the last five years we’ve seen the power of this approach, with millions of users working together to build a single family tree that connects over 65 million people.

In this spirit of collaboration, I’m pleased to announce that Geni is joining the MyHeritage family!

MyHeritage was founded in 2003 by Gilad Japhet and a team of passionate genealogy enthusiasts in Israel. In the last 9 years it has expanded to Europe and the USA, creating a massive family history network with 65 million registered users and more than 1.35 billion family tree profiles.

Sharing much of Geni’s vision, MyHeritage offers free tools for building family trees, access to historical records, and DNA tests. MyHeritage is well known for its technologies to match family trees to other family trees (Smart Matches) and to historical records (Record Matches). In addition, MyHeritage offers free genealogy desktop software (Family Tree Builder); free mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and Android, which work in sync with their Website on MyHeritage.com; and a search engine for historical records (SuperSearch).

You can see why we’re excited to join the MyHeritage family. MyHeritage is fully committed to Geni’s vision and you’ll see a number of benefits as a Geni user over the coming weeks and months.

Here are some of the benefits that you’ll see immediately:

Unlimited profile adding is now free – All users can add as many profiles as they’d like to their tree without upgrading to a paid account. No more limits to the size of your tree.
Merging is now free – All users can now merge duplicate profiles in their tree (privacy and permission rules still apply). This is great if your tree has been merged with another tree, or if you’d like to connect to the World Family Tree.
Relationship paths are now free – Discover your relationship to historical figures and celebrities, even very distant relatives.
Free family tree chart downloads – All users can now download a high quality chart of their family tree to their computer at no charge. These are great for sending to relatives or for printing at home as beautiful tree posters.
No ads - We’ve removed ads for all users for a cleaner interface with less distraction.
More privacy – living people who have not joined Geni will become private and will not be searchable on Google.

Together we are working on many more great features that we’ll roll out over the coming months. For example, we’re working together to integrate MyHeritage’s Record Matching technology directly into Geni. This will significantly improve the accuracy of our tree matches by using advanced algorithms including name synonyms, cross-language matching, and additional criteria. In addition, we will be able to intelligently match Geni profiles against MyHeritage’s billions of tree profiles and records, including newspaper and census records.

We’re excited to roll out these changes and more, and to continue to work toward providing the best collaborative genealogy service available. Most important, we hope that these tools will help you to discover more about your family history and meet new relatives.

The entire Geni Team has joined the MyHeritage family, and we will continue to operate out of our Los Angeles offices, focused as before on building Geni.com but now with all of the global resources of MyHeritage behind us. I hope that you are excited about this as myself and the rest of the Geni Team.

For more information please visit our FAQ.
http://www.geni.com/c/16d435a8aff7c4c5cf96a6e93208c9244aa68388?u=ht...

Go to Geni to try your new features now.

Thanks again for being a valuable part of the Geni community and we look forward to many more years of collaboration!

Sincerely,

Noah Tutak
CEO, Geni

11/28/2012 at 12:08 PM

New policy (more privacy) - http://www.geni.com/discussions/115396?msg=834093

Amanda (geni): Only living profiles that are unclaimed and not Master Profiles will be made private.

11/28/2012 at 12:20 PM

Thanks for clarifying Peter Rohel. I was concerned about MPs of public figures.

11/28/2012 at 12:27 PM

I don't understand how I benefit from having paid $100s for a Pro Membership?

Private User
11/28/2012 at 12:29 PM

I am wondering the same thing Jill and I have a lifetime membership that cost way more than $100!

11/28/2012 at 12:33 PM

Private User - Living names = Private (don't like it, but i can live with it)

However - if we (public users) are forced to accept the above - I certainly Hope & Expect - that All profiles of People who Died - will be forced to be Public !!

Private User
11/28/2012 at 12:45 PM

Private User can you please list what the benefits are for my lifetime subscription to Geni?

11/28/2012 at 12:52 PM

Jill Bogdanowicz-Wilson Pro features still include tree matches, enhanced search, upload unlimited media and premium support.

Private User We are working on an exciting offer for our lifetime subscribers and expect to have more details to announce next week.

Private User
11/28/2012 at 12:58 PM

Private User and @CharlesMichaelEdmonds Does the word "offer" mean that I will have to pay something...or does it mean it will be free? Also I think you should let us know if lifetime still means lifetime since we purchased the membership because it meant lifetime.

11/28/2012 at 1:08 PM

Lizzie, I bought the lifetime membership as well! Yes note I said $100s...:(

Charles, one of the reasons I bought a membership was for merging. But now everyone can do merges. Don't matches show for everyone? At least that's how it was before I became a "pro"...the matches were there to see, but there was nothing I could do about it. I haven't been uploading media, but I suppose at some point I might want to. What is the real draw to have a membership now.

As much as I have loved being a pro, adding to the tree and making merges; I feel like my membership just became worthless. I paid for nothing, because now everyone can do what I do for free.

Private User
11/28/2012 at 1:17 PM

Jill, sorry I misread your post. I too am beginning to wonder what the benefit to the lifetime membership is now that it seems to be stripped of many of the benefits that I purchased it for.

11/28/2012 at 1:43 PM

Jill Bogdanowicz-Wilson and Private User Offer does not mean that you have to pay for something. We are excited about Geni joining the MyHeritage family and we want our users to be happy about this. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the offer we will be sending out next week. And if by some chance you are not you can contact me directly and we will work together to make you as happy about this as we are.

Private User
11/28/2012 at 1:50 PM

Private User thank you for answering my concern about the word "offer" in your post. However, you did not answer my question regarding whether or not the lifetime memberships we purchased as such are still lifetime memberships at Geni. I don't think you have to wait a week to answer that question. ;)

11/28/2012 at 2:05 PM

What are the benefits of a Pro membership now? I shouldn't have paid for the features that are now free.

11/28/2012 at 2:12 PM

Private User I can only pass on the information that we have been given. If I get a answer to your question before next week I will post it here.

11/28/2012 at 2:14 PM

Martin Čakrt Pro features still include tree matches, enhanced search, upload unlimited media and premium support.

Private User
11/28/2012 at 2:27 PM

Private User hmmmm, I messaged you directly.

11/28/2012 at 2:31 PM

I would not get too excited about this free stuff. Ask yourself, where is the beef ...er... where does the revenue come from? We will know soon enough!

Michael
11/28/2012 at 2:31 PM

i suspect this will involvle a run on profiles people trying to yank the mp stats off of them

Michael
11/28/2012 at 2:32 PM

So I left Geni over a year ago, when they suddenly removed basic features from some of their most dedicated users. Stayed subscribed to the RSS just for this announcement. Knew this was coming.

Michael
11/28/2012 at 2:32 PM

Spoke too soon. Clicking through to search results is apparently still a "Pro" feature. Ah, well. Wake me up again when you guys mean it.

Michael
11/28/2012 at 3:59 PM

from what i read they were planning on keeping them as separate entities while making 'improvements' to myheritage complete with intact staffing. however, its my observation that what usually happens in situations like this is that within 2 years staff on the site that was bought out (in this case geni) tends to get restructured as it were and people get replaced. For example, when ancestry was first sold, they said staffing would stay the same, then relocated head office. staffing changes followed.. Which may be good or bad for some people karma needs to pay a visit to some people in the form of pink slips.. not going to name people because they know who they are

Private User
11/28/2012 at 4:26 PM

I'm sorry that you who paid for priivileges that are free now are out the money. But I'm glad they are giving back to us who DIDN't pay the right to do those things. This is the best news I've heard in a long time regarding Geni. It makes it a worthwhile service again.

11/28/2012 at 5:16 PM

There is nothing good to come of by making the benefits of paid accounts on par with free accounts how do we get a refund? Lol

11/28/2012 at 7:02 PM

Private User - Let's be nice to the Geni staff.

Being bought out - is seldom a lot of fun - especially during the 1st year.
It consists of lots of work, many changes and uncertainty for the staff.

Just do your best staff - and good luck :)

Michael
11/28/2012 at 8:05 PM

that's asking for nothing short of a xmas miricle

11/28/2012 at 8:53 PM

So. My Pro account is set to renew on Dec 3. Is it worth it now?

11/28/2012 at 11:03 PM

David. Your comment makes no sense. I buy a car, I expect it to work. If the price goes up after I buy it, I don't expect to pay more. :)

Private User
11/28/2012 at 11:58 PM

I believe I first bought PRO in 2008. It was worth it then to me. My expectation is that it will continue to be worth while in its evolving iterations.

Having been through mergers myself (including some hammering on the technology that quickly followed) I'd give Geni staff a chance to release the information as they can.

11/29/2012 at 5:11 AM

Erica,
I hope you are right! I guess it would have made more sense to me to announce the Pro's new benefits, as well as making the other parts free, that way everyone is happy!
Jill

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