New Social Networking Sites ‘Multiply’

Today saw the “launch” of WeeWorld and Piczo. WeeWorld is a UK site that uses avatars (WeeMees) and has a distribution deal with AOL’s AIM. Piczo is based in the U.S. but already has a large following in the UK. According to company data, it has 10 Million monthly uniques and 2.5 billion monthly page views. Piczo is predominantly used by teenage girls 13-15. Piczo has very strict privacy controls and is an ironic sort of return to the “walled garden” of web 1.0, thus avoiding the stalking, murder plots and other general nastiness that has been documented on MySpace.

Like the hello-kitty influenced CyWorld, WeeWorld (use a Scottish or Irish accent when you say it) is similarly graphical. The site launching in the US is just the beginning of a very interesting potential roadmap. As I’ve argued before the Internet is becoming much more a visual medium and there will be lots of interesting experiments with social networks, graphical environments, local search/advertising and gaming.

MTV’s just-launched Virtual Laguna Beach is another example of this phenomenon. However, probably the ultimate expression is Second Life.

On the other end of the spectrum is Multiply. The site is really not a “social network,” but a suite of tools allowing busy people (over 30) to manage media, shared calendars and communication among users. It’s designed not to connect strangers but to help people and their friends share information.

From my tour of the site I’d have to say it has a very nice and complete set of features. Multiply has several million users currently but has a marketing challenge to differentiate itself. Unless you join you can’t see the benefits. But then these sites all have built in viral marketing because existing users invite you to join.

All these social media sites (meaning all the competitors in the segment) cannot hope to succeed and there will either be acquisitions by media companies who want the users and functionality or mergers or oblivion.

Piczo CEO Jeremy Verba discussed the site’s emphasis on safety and self-expression. Safety is important but self-expression is a key concept. There are really three things driving social networking right now: novelty, creativity (self-expression) and utility. Once the novelty of all this wears off (at some point), the sites that promote self-expression and/or offer real utility to users will be the winners in the “space.”

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Related: More on Piczo and its competition from Michael Arrington at TechCrunch.

One Response to “New Social Networking Sites ‘Multiply’”

  1. Noise, More Noise and the Value of Brand « Screenwerk Says:

    […] I met yesterday with Peter Pezaris, president of social media site Multiply. Multiply is a communication and media sharing site that focuses on one’s immediate contacts (family and friends) and those once removed. I previously wrote about the company here. […]

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