Zivity.com: A Sexy Spin on Social Networking?

14 03 2008

A website has been launched by Silicon Valley’s own Scott Banister. His vision is a social network, one that connects people via the web. Oh great, just what we need, another Facebook/MySpace/Friendster/Linked In. But wait! Scott has added his own unique twist to the site, zivity.com. The site, which requires a $10 monthly subscription fee, allows nudity No, not only allows it, that is what the site is devoted to. His goal is to drive a competitive profit against those deemed “raunchy porn sites” that host pictures that make the ones on zivity.com tame in comparison. By its own admission, zivity.com is a “community-powered showcase promoting female beauty.” Pornography sites on the web rake in huge profits every month, so why is this site going to be any different? In an interview for ABC News.com, co-founder Scott Banister said “It’s a social network built around who took the photographs. We look at that and we see a huge opportunity to enter that same market, but with a subscription-only model.” The site, which is currently invite only, is similar to Facebook and MySpace in the fact that once you are a member, you meet and become friends with fellow users online. However, the also gain access to the nude photos, and are afforded 5 votes a month to decide award to their favorites. The photographers (because this is all for the photographers…) are paid based on the number of votes they receive. All of the models are paid as well.
Why charge a subscription fee? Well, in order to avoid advertisers, of course! But is that really what subscribers think they are paying for? The website has a waiting list of 30,000 people, according to this article, which is pretty impressive.
What can we learn from this, other than the fact that porn is becoming more sophisticated? Well, that the world of social networking is moving to private communities. That’s right, just like we have gated communities, those big communities that have a guard at the gate, and their own lake, and a private park, social networking communities are starting to move to these “gated communities.” Facebook is cool, but open to everyone (and I am not knocking Facebook, I love Facebook), and pretty soon, invite-only communities are going to become the “place to be.” Could this signify the beginning of the end for my beloved Facebook? Well, I don’t know if this site will survive, but it’s got a pretty good shot-plus, they have just secured funding from BlueRun Ventures and Founder’s Fund, which has bankrolled PayPal and Pogo.com. Read the entire ABC News article here.

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One response

22 04 2009
Margerine

So what’s the update. How is the project going? Is it popular? I see competitive sites like http://www.myhi.com on the market now.

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