Why no hype for hi5?

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore asks why isn’t there more hype for hi5 when compared to Facebook? After all, hi5 is located in San Francisco and just got $20 million from Mohr Davidow Ventures. Here’s why:

1) Not one of my readers has bugged me to join. With Facebook I had at least 200 people bug me to join over the past few months before I joined. In fact, I had dinner with Kevin Rose (the guy behind Digg and Pownce) and he begged me personally to join Facebook. The words I heard over and over were “the best.” “You’ll like it.” “It’s the best network.” Etc. Etc. Etc.
2) When I sign in I don’t see anything that tells me it’ll be useful for professional networking. Facebook is thought of as “for college kids” but when you sign in it’s professional and there’s no rap singer or bling bling in my face that tells me that I probably am too old for it. On hi5 it’s completely different. The home page looks like a high school kid would love it (and that’s probably why they got $20 million).
3) No app platform that I can see. If you wonder why Facebook is getting all the hype you better understand why the app platform got me to join in.
4) Not many people I know and the ones who are there already don’t seem to be very active. On Facebook there were TONS of people I knew already on the service and everytime I visited one of their profile pages I could tell there was lots of activity (and now that I joined Facebook’s mini-feed brings me lots of activity from my network).

So, why no hype? It only took me five minutes to see why no hype. That doesn’t mean a lot of people won’t join it, though. Just won’t be me saying “you MUST be on this” like I do for Facebook.

32 thoughts on “Why no hype for hi5?

  1. Pingback: Hi5 Blog
  2. I can see some positives as well as some negatives with this facebook platform thing.

    While opening up the platform was a huge attraction for developers and the users maintaining the quality of these applications in a way not to upset users would be paramount to Facebook’s success. This is not going to be an easy. Windows being a mature platform with an army of talented engineers is still having trouble eliminating the poor quality perception most of which stem on account of badly written apps.

    The same users who thronged in droves would lead an exodus if there is a poor perception on the quality of the apps. BTW, looks like having a beta release is a thing of the past for these new breed of applications. It’s GA right away!!

  3. I can see some positives as well as some negatives with this facebook platform thing.

    While opening up the platform was a huge attraction for developers and the users maintaining the quality of these applications in a way not to upset users would be paramount to Facebook’s success. This is not going to be an easy. Windows being a mature platform with an army of talented engineers is still having trouble eliminating the poor quality perception most of which stem on account of badly written apps.

    The same users who thronged in droves would lead an exodus if there is a poor perception on the quality of the apps. BTW, looks like having a beta release is a thing of the past for these new breed of applications. It’s GA right away!!

  4. Sorry that should read “it is oriented a bit more toward producing interesting content and blogging THAN “bling” social networking stuff” (makes much more sense that way *grin*)

  5. Sorry that should read “it is oriented a bit more toward producing interesting content and blogging THAN “bling” social networking stuff” (makes much more sense that way *grin*)

  6. I’m not too keen on Hi5 but it is pretty neat if you consider there are only 40 staff…

    @3 Ummm you just described Google I think…
    ;-)

    Personally I think Woyano (www.woyano.com) is pretty cool but it is oriented a bit more toward producing interesting content and blogging that “bling” social networking stuff that the kids love so much…

  7. I’m not too keen on Hi5 but it is pretty neat if you consider there are only 40 staff…

    @3 Ummm you just described Google I think…
    ;-)

    Personally I think Woyano (www.woyano.com) is pretty cool but it is oriented a bit more toward producing interesting content and blogging that “bling” social networking stuff that the kids love so much…

  8. Like it’s been said, the main reason why I don’t think you would join hi5 is composite: since you’re not regionally under it’s influence (remember orkut in Brazil?? It’s like that with hi5 under some European countries like my own: Portugal!) you don’t join because it’s aimed at young guests… at least it looks like it. Confusing?? I’m trying to make a point in that IF you were in a region where people would invite you to it, you’d end up joining (happened with me!); just as I wouldn’t join it if I never got *massively* invited to it, since I feel it doesn’t even fit my age group (25+).

  9. Like it’s been said, the main reason why I don’t think you would join hi5 is composite: since you’re not regionally under it’s influence (remember orkut in Brazil?? It’s like that with hi5 under some European countries like my own: Portugal!) you don’t join because it’s aimed at young guests… at least it looks like it. Confusing?? I’m trying to make a point in that IF you were in a region where people would invite you to it, you’d end up joining (happened with me!); just as I wouldn’t join it if I never got *massively* invited to it, since I feel it doesn’t even fit my age group (25+).

  10. Ever considered the regional aspect? I have both. However, in this tiny island of ours Hi5 is really well known and everyone is on it, whereas Facebook is relatively unknown.

  11. Ever considered the regional aspect? I have both. However, in this tiny island of ours Hi5 is really well known and everyone is on it, whereas Facebook is relatively unknown.

  12. Robert – I have a couple of friends that work at hi5. I am also a Facebook fan. But I have to acknowledge how these guys have built the company.

    hi5 gets the same traffic as Facebook but instead of 300 people running the show – they have about 40. I respect them a lot. Also, I think this is the first institutional round that they have taken. Amazing!

  13. Robert – I have a couple of friends that work at hi5. I am also a Facebook fan. But I have to acknowledge how these guys have built the company.

    hi5 gets the same traffic as Facebook but instead of 300 people running the show – they have about 40. I respect them a lot. Also, I think this is the first institutional round that they have taken. Amazing!

  14. “When I sign in I don’t see anything that tells me it’ll be useful for professional networking”

    In Facebook, what’s professional about knowing one of my “friends” added another “friend”, wrote on someone’s wall, added or removed an app, or was sitting around thinking about picking his nose?

  15. “When I sign in I don’t see anything that tells me it’ll be useful for professional networking”

    In Facebook, what’s professional about knowing one of my “friends” added another “friend”, wrote on someone’s wall, added or removed an app, or was sitting around thinking about picking his nose?

  16. there is really one sole reason for hi5 not to have hype: because it is like a mix of match.com and friendster. it is meant a meeting friends/dates to go out, not to really interact in the actual site.

    so, even if it is a social network, the angle and the model they go is not anywhere close to what even friendster does now, much less myspace or Facebook.

    They get loads of hits(200 million a day), and guess what kind of ads they serve? CPM ads.

  17. there is really one sole reason for hi5 not to have hype: because it is like a mix of match.com and friendster. it is meant a meeting friends/dates to go out, not to really interact in the actual site.

    so, even if it is a social network, the angle and the model they go is not anywhere close to what even friendster does now, much less myspace or Facebook.

    They get loads of hits(200 million a day), and guess what kind of ads they serve? CPM ads.

  18. I don’t know about other countries, but for some stupid reason everyone around here in Portugal uses Hi5. They have like…90% market share. They even have ad and search engine deals with local companies. Only bands and people more associated with the music world use myspace, and at least nobody that i know of uses facebook.

    And it’s not new, it’s been like this since the dawn of social networks.

    Oh right, early adopters of social networks (like me) used Orkut, but when it was overrun by Brazil everyone fled to Hi5 (around 2004/2005 or so) and the Hi5 hype around here was born.

    And it’s stupid, because Hi5 sucks. It’s not just the intrusive pub and lack of interesting features (all the features they have were copies of other social networks, they never had anything original). It’s simply the fact that most of the times it doesn’t work. E-mail notifications rarely work (like…2 or 3 times a year maybe). Most profile editing or message sending pages don’t work at the first time: i had to try at least 10 times to be able to send a message some days ago.

    And it’s been always like this. It never gets better.

    I’m also thinking of making a post about this on my blog and sending a message to all my contacts about it, maybe trying to push them to myspace (which i already use because i want to keep updated on some bands, local or not) or facebook (which i still have to try, but looks great from everything i’ve heard)…which i’ll do…when i have the time (maybe next week).

  19. I don’t know about other countries, but for some stupid reason everyone around here in Portugal uses Hi5. They have like…90% market share. They even have ad and search engine deals with local companies. Only bands and people more associated with the music world use myspace, and at least nobody that i know of uses facebook.

    And it’s not new, it’s been like this since the dawn of social networks.

    Oh right, early adopters of social networks (like me) used Orkut, but when it was overrun by Brazil everyone fled to Hi5 (around 2004/2005 or so) and the Hi5 hype around here was born.

    And it’s stupid, because Hi5 sucks. It’s not just the intrusive pub and lack of interesting features (all the features they have were copies of other social networks, they never had anything original). It’s simply the fact that most of the times it doesn’t work. E-mail notifications rarely work (like…2 or 3 times a year maybe). Most profile editing or message sending pages don’t work at the first time: i had to try at least 10 times to be able to send a message some days ago.

    And it’s been always like this. It never gets better.

    I’m also thinking of making a post about this on my blog and sending a message to all my contacts about it, maybe trying to push them to myspace (which i already use because i want to keep updated on some bands, local or not) or facebook (which i still have to try, but looks great from everything i’ve heard)…which i’ll do…when i have the time (maybe next week).

  20. Here we go again. Everyone wants in on the social network action, but no one is offering anything truly useful.

    Like I said in another post, what would make me use a site like these is simple. One one webpage:

    1) Email account with at least 1 GB storage space.
    2) Integrated IM compatible with other IM services / webcam able.
    3) Webpage/blog ability.
    4) RSS feeds.
    5) Free.

    All of this on ONE page with terminal window like app windows that are resizeable, customizeable, etc.

  21. Here we go again. Everyone wants in on the social network action, but no one is offering anything truly useful.

    Like I said in another post, what would make me use a site like these is simple. One one webpage:

    1) Email account with at least 1 GB storage space.
    2) Integrated IM compatible with other IM services / webcam able.
    3) Webpage/blog ability.
    4) RSS feeds.
    5) Free.

    All of this on ONE page with terminal window like app windows that are resizeable, customizeable, etc.

  22. The ads on Hi5 go beyond intrusive. Every other time you refresh a page an ad blocks half the screen, forcing you to close it to see what you want to see.

    It also seems to be ‘over customisable’. Usually, on a blog or network or whatever, you have set professional looking themes, or it’s customisable only by people who know what they’re up to, be it CSS or whatever.

    Hi5 has the unenviable ability to turn a profile into the most hideously monstrous looking page in less than a minute. They’re often unreadable.

    It is the most popular network in Latin America though, or so I’m led to believe. Which is where I am – but I’ll stay ‘unpopular’ and stick with Facebook.

  23. The ads on Hi5 go beyond intrusive. Every other time you refresh a page an ad blocks half the screen, forcing you to close it to see what you want to see.

    It also seems to be ‘over customisable’. Usually, on a blog or network or whatever, you have set professional looking themes, or it’s customisable only by people who know what they’re up to, be it CSS or whatever.

    Hi5 has the unenviable ability to turn a profile into the most hideously monstrous looking page in less than a minute. They’re often unreadable.

    It is the most popular network in Latin America though, or so I’m led to believe. Which is where I am – but I’ll stay ‘unpopular’ and stick with Facebook.

  24. Is there an app platform for ANYTHING other than facebook? hah.

    The highschool factor is huge. Myspace sucks for that reason (with many others though), I hate seeing those ads.

  25. Is there an app platform for ANYTHING other than facebook? hah.

    The highschool factor is huge. Myspace sucks for that reason (with many others though), I hate seeing those ads.

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