SM: Have you seen advertisers take advantage of the platforms?
RY: Yes, we have. Advertisers are interested in, and this is not exclusive to applications, identifying methods that will result in more users having a higher level of engagement with them. Applications provide a terrific way to do that. It can be accomplished through a game or some utilitarian application.
One example is a recently developed AT&T application. It is a gymnastics application, a game that has subtle advertising options weaved in, which will tie into the upcoming Olympics.
SM: Did you ever see a company called Kariokus?
SM: They are no longer around. They had a portfolio of game theory tools including auction, reverse aution, dutch auction, and all sorts of advergames. It would be perfect for this type of application.
RY: DreamWorks has also developed a widget ad on hi5 for the movie KungFu Panda.
SM: Where do you go from here as a company?
RY: We continue down the path we are on right now. We see hi5 in terms of what our users want. We are trying to deliver on their desires and needs. One goal is to enable people to stay connected over a very, very long period of time, and we must provide the service that enables such communication.
Another goal is to continue creating a social and a fun experience. We want to maintain an integral part of people’s lives. Applications enable unimaginable ways of communicating. Our continued support to the developer community in what we must do to enable further community creativity.
Here is something I find fascinating. People who use hi5 can get a lens of what they should be seeing based on who their friends are. Today we provide that to users by showing them all the photos, blog posts, and the different Verb events our users want to have. That is a highly relevant stream of information. Down the line, we see that going beyond hi5. We envision users utilizing their relationships with their friends to help filter content on the web as a whole. What am I reading on the web? What newspaper article did I see that I can publish to my hi5 friends?
This is how a hi5 user can consume content about issues which are relevant to them directly. Pretty soon this will move into how people can consume content that is very broad. If you look at how much content society consumes today versus 5 to 10 years ago, just read all of the blogs. That is a problem we think we can help solve.
SM: The information overload problem? Good luck!
RY: There are multiple approaches. One approach is “this is the set of information that people who matter to you are looking at, and you might want to look at this first as well”. It provides a lens.
SM: Interesting. Is there anything else I should have asked you but didn’t?
RY: I think that covers it.