Release Notes

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August 22, 2007


August 3, 2007

Tree Preferences:

We've added a new Preferences tab to the family tree. In it, you'll find several new options for customizing the display of your tree, including the ability to display maiden names -- a popular user request. The new preferences are divided into three sections:


  • Four tree layouts - Standard, Vertical, Photos Only, and Names Only
  • Choose the number of generations to display, including an option for direct ancestors only (pedigree view)
  • 'Flip' nodes over for more detail, right on your tree
  • Display deceased relatives with a small black band
  • Hide/show yellow arrows, photos, and more


  • Four options for how to display maiden names in your tree
  • Show/hide display names, middle names, and suffixes


  • Set minimum and maximum font sizes (designed for better display of very long names)
  • Choose from three display quality settings (for better performance on some computers)
  • Choose to have the tray pop up only when clicked, rather than when moused over

In addition, we have temporarily removed the ability to message people in other trees. We'll be bringing this feature back soon, with additional security enhancements.

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July 19, 2007

Speed Improvements:

We have made a number of changes focused on increasing the speed and performance of your Geni experience. Many of our users, especially those with large trees, should notice improved performance right away. Here are some of the changes we’ve made to make Geni faster.

Tree View Display Change - When you view your tree you will now see ten generations of ancestors displayed—if you’d like to see more click the “View All” link.

One reason for this change is that larger trees take longer to load—prior to this change we had to first calculate the number displayed on each ‘little green tree’. With this change we load your tree first, and then fill in those numbers—this change significantly speeds up the Tree display.

Profile View Change - Profiles of some distant relatives took time to load because of the ‘Relationship Pathway’. Now the profile loads first and then we load the relationship pathway. This means you do not need to wait for the longer relationship pathway to load before viewing or acting on the profile.

You may notice a few other minor changes we have made to accommodate these changes. For example, the ‘Blood Relatives’ count has been replaced by ‘Ancestors’ and ‘Descendants’ in ‘User Statistics’. Also the list view no longer has a ‘Blood Relatives’ option, but we have added an ‘Include Deceased’ checkbox.

Search Privacy Improvements:

Now you have control over the search privacy for every node you add or have added to your Geni tree. You can set the privacy for all nodes you have added in your Search Privacy settings. There are settings for your profile, for deceased profiles you have added, and for living profiles you have added. For additional control, you can enable or disable search privacy for each individual profile you have added. On the ‘Edit Profile’ page of any person you have added you will see a new ‘Searchable by the public’ checkbox you can use to change their public search setting.

Photo Album Changes:

‘My Family’s Albums’ and ‘My Family Friends’ Albums’ have been combined into the new ‘Recent Albums’ sub-tab. Here’s where you’ll find all recent albums created by you, your family, and your friends.

We have also added some additional information when you are viewing a photo album - at the top of every album you will now see a list of each person tagged in that album as well as the album description.

Messaging Improvements:

We’ve given you more options on how you can respond to Inbox messages. You can select Reply All, Reply, or Forward messages you receive in your Inbox.

“My Family” Group

There is a new List View called “My Family”. This is the subset of people in your tree whose birthdays and anniversaries appear in your Calendar, whose locations appear on your Map, and whose Recent Albums you see under the Photos tab. Initially, we have defined this group as your third cousins and closer, plus their current partners, and your own partner’s first cousins and closer, plus their current partners. Coming soon, we will let you define your My Family group.

New Fiancé Partner Option:

‘Fiancé’ has been added to our list of partner types. When you indicate a partner relationship as ‘fiancé’ you can also enter a Wedding Date.

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June 23, 2007

Search Outside Your Tree

We have added a new feature to Geni to help you find and connect with your family. You can now search for other Geni users and profiles outside your family tree. Simply search for a name using the same search box you already use you will now see two tabs - Search results 'In Your Tree' and 'Outside Your Tree'.

'Outside Your Tree' search results will return a list of all deceased profiles and all claimed users who have not disabled public search. Depending on the profile's privacy settings you may be able to see who added that profile, send them a message, and add them to your family friends. This is a great way to find other people who may be related to you and grow your family tree.

You can control who may or may not search for you in your Settings - Your choices are 'Anyone (Public)' or 'People in My Tree and Family Friends'. In addition you can specify 'What they can see:'. By default your search results will include your profile photo, current location (city and country), and a button users can use to send you a message or send you a Family Friend invite. You can also display the 'Person who added me' and 'First names of my immediate family (except minor children)' on your Search Result.

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June 21, 2007

Geni Inbox

Staying in touch with your family just got easier with Geni’s new Inbox: there's a new Inbox tab at the top of each page for quick access to your messages. (This tab will also display an icon when you have new messages.) There's also a 'Requests' view, for invitations from family friends.

Send a private, person-to-person message to anyone in your tree (and to family friends), by using the Send Message button on the profile page. You can also address a new message to multiple recipients, using the same auto-suggest feature you already use to tag your photos.

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Tree Map, Photos and More

Map of My Tree

You can view all of your family's current locations and birthplaces on a global map. Use the familiar Google Maps interface to zoom and navigate around the world. Choose who you want to see on the map including anyone in your family or family friends.

Navigation Tray

Get around your tree with the new tray at the bottom of the My Tree tab. The ‘Navigate’ tab makes it easy to move around in large family trees. Use the ‘Go to...’ tab to jump directly to an individual, just by clicking his or her name.

Photo Enhancements

Move photos between albums To move one of your photos from one album to another, select the ‘Move to...’ link when viewing an individual photo Then, select the destination from a list of your photo albums.

Reordering photos Besides moving photos between albums you can also reorder the photos within an album. Use the ‘Reorder Photos’ link on the ‘Edit Album’ page to easily drag and drop your photos to arrange them.

Batch Messages

You'll now receive a maximum of two daily email digests: one each for birthday reminders and photo activity (new photo uploads, and tags by others).

Send Birthday Reminders checkbox

You can now disable birthday reminders for any profile you can edit. Next to the Date of Birth when editing a profile or viewing more info in the family tree, you will see a checkbox you can use to disable birthday reminders for that person’s birthday.

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May 16, 2007

Family Friends

Geni is a tool for understanding and staying in touch with your family. Now Geni can also help you stay in touch with your family friends. When you invite family friends to join your network on Geni they can view your profile and your photos. When your friends join you on Geni you will be able to see their profile and photos as well. You can then leave a comment in your friends’ Guest Books and tag them in your photos. And if they don't already have a family tree on Geni, we'll help them create one!

Because Geni continues to take your family's privacy very seriously, your family friends will not be able to view your family tree or the profile of anyone else in your family. In order to help your friends connect with your immediate family, they can view the profile photo, name, and location of your immediate family. Your family can even invite them to be their family friend too.

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Four New Tree Views

In addition to the original 'Tree' and 'List' views we have now added four new ways to view the information in family tree:

Calendar – The Family Calendar lists all of your family's upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. We also tell you how old the person will be on their next birthday and for anniversaries we tell you which anniversary it is (bronze, silver, gold, etc.).

Map - We are excited to announce the release of one of our most requested features, the Family Map! You can view all of your family's Current Residences and Birth Places on a global map. We use the Google Maps interface so zooming and navigating around your Family Map is easy. You can also choose who you want to see on the map - You, Living Relatives, Deceased Relatives, In-laws, Friends.

Index - Another widely requested feature request has been an index of family names in your tree. Simply click on the ‘Index’ link to view a Index of Last Names. The Index lists every last name that exists in your tree as well as the number of people with that last name and a link to view them.

Discussion – Now there is a Tree Discussion Board that will allow you to communicate with anyone on your tree. Messages you leave here can be read and replied to by anyone on your tree. Communication with your family has never been easier!

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April 25, 2007


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