Tencent’s social blogging site, Qzone, has Asia’s largest active social network user base, with 600 million (and counting) users who log in more than twice a month. Besides Qzone, the Chinese Internet giant is perhaps better known for its flagship QQ instant messenger and the exploding WeChat smartphone messaging app. I spoke to Peter Zheng, vice president of Tencent’s social… → Read More
At The Pool, a Los Angeles-based social discovery network that aims to be the anti-Facebook (and anti-Twitter for that matter), today announced it has emerged from beta and is in the process of closing a $1 million seed financing round led by Clearstone Venture Partners. Also participating in the investment are a bevy of Los Angeles-based angels, including Buck Jordan of Canyon Creek Capital and… → Read More
Ping was scheduled for unceremonious termination at the end of September, and now it’s definitely gone dark. Clicking on the Ping link in the iTunes sidebar now returns an error, if it even still appears there. Our own Josh Constine foretold its demise back in September, and now it’s gone, both on mobile and the desktop. → Read More
Much like it is for entrepreneurs, being an inventor isn’t easy. From the moment that magic light bulb appears, product developers have to navigate a bumpy road of financing, engineering, legalities, patents and more. As a result, many great ideas never see the light of day. Quirky is on a mission to help the Idea Men and Women of the world bring their ideas to life. In fact, the startup aims to… → Read More
Deets is a newly launched mobile app that lets you organize your contacts and keep everyone’s information up-to-date automatically, but that description alone sells it a bit short. This new iOS app is a little bit of everything – it’s a communication hub, a contact synchronization utility and even social networking service. The idea is somewhat similar to the concept of Google+ Circles in the… → Read More
PixyKids, a Silicon Valley-based startup building a social media platform for children ages 6 to 12 and their families, is launching into open beta today and rebranding under the new name “Kazaana.” The company felt like the earlier label was “too girlie” and didn’t clearly demonstrate that PixyKids was a family platform, and not just a kids’ platform. (For what it’s worth, I have to admit the… → Read More
Is there room for another social network in the age of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? According to newly launched, mobile-first startup Muxi, the answer to that question is “yes,” and specifically, it’s targeting the LinkedIn crowd with its social network for professionals. According to Muxi co-founder Bertrand Besse, there’s still an opportunity here because “LinkedIn is not a social network,”… → Read More
Q&A site Formspring is today announcing what the company says is its biggest news since its original launch back in 2009. Yes, Formspring has been overhauled. The company is shifting its focus from social Q&A, to a site that’s more focused on conversations built around interests. To complement this change, Formspring is also rolling out a completely redesigned website to highlight the… → Read More
Earlier this month, Australian-based Mooter Media took in $15 million from San Francisco investment firm La Jolla Cove Investors, Inc. in order to launch a new social photography platform. The platform, called ImageSocial, will be built with technical development partner Hot Shot Media and, unlike traditional photo-sharing networks, will also include a gaming element.
It’s tough to embark on ambitious fitness plans or to learn a new sport without the help of friends or likeminded people to help coach you through the process. Trying to go from lite jogger to marathon runner or from casual golfer to shooting par: The challenges are invigorating, sure, but vim and vigor won’t necessarily carry you all the way to Olympic glory. This is one of the main issues being… → Read More
Who needs another social network? Maybe you, friend. Admittedly, the social networking space is packed with so many players, it makes the mind reel. Across the Web, it seems like a new social network is born (and dies) every day. There are niche social networking sites for everything you can imagine. The knitting and crochet community has one, as do gamers, pet-lovers, and bowlers.
Social networks are a dime a dozen. Many of them focus on the social, or the networking, independent of other aspects that might bring people together. It’s no big surprise that many of these social networks fail, or only reach specific niche audiences. As such, it was with a bit of skepticism that I approached Scitable.com, a social network for science research and education from the folks at… → Read More
Madrid-based Tuenti, sometimes called the Facebook of Spain, has been around for four years now. It’s a very well funded company that, despite a huge growth in user numbers and a number of product releases, has been getting some bad press on their lack of monetization and for not having a clear direction – though if you follow the product releases and the company’s hiring habits, there is a… → Read More
In Japan, girls are crazy over virtual boyfriends. Webkare (Web Boyfriend in Japanese), a mix between a social network and dating simulation site, is Nippon’s newest web sensation. Geared exclusively towards girls, the site attracted over 10,000 members just 5 days after its release on September 10, racking up 3.5 million page views in the same time frame.
Hangout combines Facebook, MySpace and the Sims to create a virtual world for 16-24 year olds to interact in. By creating “rooms”, users have the ability to create a customized environment in which all their interests are represented. Recent interests are catalogued in a similar way as to real life, with users able to visit your “room” and see what you have been listening to and watching… → Read More
There is a lot of hype and hope in the U.S. around taking social networks mobile, but mobile social networking is still in the fledgling stages in the West. In Japan, it is already a reality. One company in particular, DeNA, has taken Japan by storm with its mobile SNS/virtual world/gaming platform Mobage-town. DeNA opened a US office in San Mateo earlier this year, with plans to offer an English… → Read More
We were the first to drop the ball on Nokia Mosh a few weeks back and I didn’t pay too much attention to it because I figured it to be another social networking site. I picked up on it because they were poking fun at Apple and attempting to lure folks burned by the price cut to check it out. Well, I’ve spent a bit of time tinkering with the site and sat down with George Linardos, Director of… → Read More
There’s a fine article in today’s New York Times exploring the relationship between online, Facebook-like Web sites and the young girls these sites target. It’s stunning, really, to read that these youngsters (the profiled girl here is 9) prefer to engage in virtual worlds wherein they dress up dolls, do each other’s hair and gossip—granted, excellent training for the… → Read More
In the burgeoning world of mobile-social communities, you’ve got to have a differentiator. Pinppl (pronounced by some as”pineapple,” though definitively pronounced “PIN People” by its founder, Paul Anthony) delivers the goods by building a community exclusive to Blackberry users, all based around the ubiquitous Blackberry PIN. The PIN is Blackberry’s own… → Read More