In a desperate attempt to attract new users, social networking site- hi5 is now adding an instant messaging service. Currently, hi5 has almost 60 million users – which is not a bad sized audience, but way less if you compare it with other social networks such as – MySpace and Facebook, with 125.7 million and 294.7 million unique visitors respectively.
A couple of months back, hi5 had added entertainment features to engage more people through casual gaming (like sports, arcade, etc). Last month it announced its partnership with PlaySpan, powering micropayments for virtual goods and premium content sold on the social network. And very recently it partnered with Paymo to power mobile payments for virtual goods.
hi5’s chat service is quite similar to the Facebook chat. It:
- Is an instant one-on-one messaging service
- Allows you to check who are online or offline
- Runs directly within the browser of hi5
- Has the provision to changing your online status
- Allows you to write updates
- Allows you to post profile comments
- Allows you to share photos while chatting
- Allows you to express better with hi5 “star” emoticons
Although, quite slow to change, but this seems like a good move after all. The new IM feature will not be able to bring hi5 up to Facebook’s level for sure, but might just help engage more audience. Better late than never.