BuddyPress is a plugin with some associated themes that, when activated, turns your WordPress installation into a social network. Users can sign up, create profiles, and participate in discussions without ever entering the administration screens. BuddyPress is now available for single-site WordPress installations as well as networks, and includes all the same features except separate blogs for individual users. I'll demonstrate using the network installation.
While BuddyPress can be installed and configured like a simple plugin, it has its own ecosystem of plugins, themes, and hooks. It even has its own Codex, located at http://codex.buddypress.org.
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