Well-funded startup Backplane made a name for itself by creating own-brand social networks for big stars – notably Lady Gaga, whose Little Monsters community launched its platform. Guns’n’Roses were later another band who signed up, but now Backplane is shifting its strategy, with echoes of what another B2B community-creator – Ning – did in the past. 

Backplane has rebranded as Place, and is pitching its technology to consumers rather than just stars and brands. “Place is a mobile and web application that allows anyone to create interest-based social groups online,” explains its website. “With Place, you can discover and join groups of like-minded people and engage in meaningful conversation with people who share your passions.” It still sees Lady Gaga as an example to follow though. “She gave her fans a uniting identity and we built them a safe haven for nurturing conversation, where they embrace and empower each other. They are the heart and soul of what we set out to create and now we’re opening it up to everyone, for free…”

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