Evite was launched in 1998. The website is a free, advertisement-supported service. Evite was co-founded by Al Lieb and Selina Tobaccowala. It was acquired in 2001 by conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp. In 2010, Liberty Media acquired ownership of Evite from IAC.
An event organizer creates an online invitation through the website via a simple interface. This online invitation is colloquially referred to as "an Evite". The host enters e-mail addresses of prospective guests and Evite sends e-mails to the guests. Each guest is in one of four categories: "Attending", "Not Attending", "Maybe", and "Not yet replied". Guests move themselves from the "Not yet replied" category to one of the three "replied" categories and can write additional comments.
- Hosts can turn any event into a fundraiser for the charity of their choice.
- Hosts can track in real time how much money their event has raised.
- Hosts may send an automatic reminder e-mail in the days prior to the event.
- Hosts can determine through the web site whether a guest has viewed the invitation or not.
The HTML page for the invitation may have various stylistic features chosen by the inviter. These include setting, color, layout, and renaming the four guest categories.
Hosts may opt to send guests updates when other guests RSVP for the event, or when the event details are changed.
According to Mashable and Venturebeat, Evite has threatened to sue San Francisco-based startup and competitor Socializr (acquired by Punchbowl.com in November 2010) due to alleged copyright infringement.
- Entrepreneur Auren Hoffman wrote a blog post in January 2006 pointing out that Evite had great potential but had not improved for six years. Later Auren wrote a guest column for VentureBeat in September 2006 called, "Why I hate Evite."
- Friendster and Socializr founder Jonathan Abrams has written a detailed critique of Evite.
- On May 14, 2007, Valleywag listed Evite as #1 in their list of Companies We All Hate: "Why it sucks: The invitation e-mails don't contain the info for the event! Gah! And the page everyone clicks to is choked with ads."
- Time Magazine named Evite one of their "5 Worst Websites" and "Sites to Avoid".
- Wired Magazine's February 2008 issue on "Why Things Suck" includes an article criticizing Evite.
- The Simpsons: The character "Snake" responded to a fellow inmate who was unaware of an impending jailbreak: "I sent you an Evite. You never responded. Nice netiquette, jerk!"
- Alias: In season 4, episode 3 Jack crashes a birthday party thrown for Weiss and comments on his lack of an invitation: "Unless it was an Evite. I don't read Evites."
- The Office: In E-mail Surveillance, Jim Halpert sends Evites to his coworkers to a barbecue at his house, excluding regional manager Michael Scott from the guest list. "Wonder where my eVitation is?" Scott ponders aloud. In season 5, Michael creates his own paper company in the same building as the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch. He sends out an Evite for their pancake luncheon.
- Serwer, Andy (December 2, 2010). "Diller on leaving the top spot at IAC: "The company wasn't being managed correctly"". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- Robin Wauters (December 2, 2010). "Liberty Exits IAC For Evite, Gifts.com And $220M In Cash – Diller Steps Down As CEO". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- UTC, Kristen Nicole2007-04-30 20:57:58. "Evite Threatens Socializr with Lawsuit". Mashable. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Evite threatens to sue Socializr for copyright infringement". Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-05-19. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- "Why I hate Evite". Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "The Truth About Evite". www.jabrams.com. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Valleywag - Sorry to disrupt". Valleywag. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "5 Worst Websites". Time. 2007-07-09. Retrieved 2015-05-04.
- "Why Things Suck: Evite". WIRED. Retrieved 2015-05-04.