Evite, the social planning service which has been around since 1998, announced a partnership with JS-Kit today. Evite will use JS-Kit's commenting and polling features to allow organizers and guests to communicate with each other. Evite is also expanding the social networking features of its site, including the ability to share photos and stories after the event has taken place.
While a number of more Web 2.0 oriented invitation companies like Socializr, Renkoo, or Goovite have challenged Evite over the years, Evite has remained the de-facto mainstream standard for online party invitations. Evite currently has about 15 million unique visitors a month, a number that dwarfs that of any of its competitors.
Evite's biggest challengers are probably not even other invitation services, but social networks like Facebook and MySpace. However, given that Evite is geared towards a very mainstream market where email is still king and not everybody is on Facebook, that challenge only applies to a certain sub-set of users, especially college students. By refreshing its look and by adding more social networking features as well as photo sharing, however, Evite is doing quite a good job at staying fresh, even though the company has been around for ten years now. The question for Evite is going to be if its users are going to accept these changes, which are pretty far reaching and include not just the new features, but also an updated user interface and the ability to import photos from Flickr and videos from YouTube.
JS-Kit is clearly on a roll right now. After acquiring the commenting system provider HaloScan just a few weeks ago, this partnership with Evite gives JS-Kit access to a very large number of users. JS-Kit is currently deployed on more than half a million sites.