While hi5 may not have beat out Facebook for the number one social platform, they have taken the spot of number two. Eric Eldon points out that the hi5 platform has been more successful in attracting users. Rock You, for example, has received a whopping 2 million installations since the launch. Compare this to Myspace where the total number of installations for the top application is just over 100,000. While the hi5 platform doesn’t appear to have launched their application directory yet, the apps have been spreading virally.
hi5 proclaimed that there were unlimited invites for applications at launch hoping to add to their developer base. While there is no word on how many applications have joined the hi5 platform, my guess is that it is still well below 1,000. Eric Eldon also questions the value of many of these applications. Right now there is some debate as to how valuable branded pokes on Facebook and other social networks are. RockYou claims that because millions of users have sent pokes to other users, that there is some marketable value behind all that.
I’d have to see statistics showing that branded pokes have resulted in an increase in sales before I think these marketing campaigns are valuable. As to whether users feel like they have been spammed on hi5, it appears not. Eric Eldon states, “Hi5 has instead come out with a new notification system specifically for applications. This means that there is little risk of users feeling spammed by applications messages, because they can just ignore invites, etc. if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to deal with it.”
Currently, it is still early in the platform race and it is difficult to declare a winner but hi5 has definitely taken a risk by opening up their platform to make it really viral. MySpace on the other hand has provided practically no viral features aside from displaying in user profiles. Once MySpace opens up their platform a little more, I would look for them to become a viable competitor to Facebook and rapidly surpass hi5.