I thought I would take some time to find out about some of the value-added services that keep the Myspace economy humming.
When I started ProfileDoctor, I figured I would see what sort of cottage industry was going to spring up around dating sites. Back then, it’s was PD, a few competitors and LookBetterOnline. A handful of companies emerging to take care of the needs of the industry. We all figured that dating sites were too busy running to the bank and buying Porches and that dating sites would welcome partners to help them keep their members happy. Boy were we wrong. No was a very popular words when dating sites were experiencing mega-growth rates. We all made money, but not nearly enough, because dating sites were not willing to trust their members with us. I’m not talking about all sites, but the top 25, which is where all the revenue is being generated and you would think they had the most to gain, or lose.
Fast forward a few years and pick up the Sunday NY Times and Businessweek. Myspace has 60 million profiles and SecondLife has a thriving cottage industry springing up within it’s 3D world.
What we are seeing is that it is a lot easier to extract a few bucks from a lot of people for an impulse buy like a song or custom template than it is to provide photos or profile helpto the dating industry. Coaching is a different opportunity which doesn’t scale well, so I’m not taking that into consideration here.
Countless sites have sprung up catering to Myspace and SecondLife members. I’ll focus on Myspace for the moment. Check out the results for “add stuff to myspace page” on Google.
Myspace Layouts, Pimpitout, Freecodesource, Myspacesupport, the list goes on.
Most of these sites offer free or paid Myspace page generators, or what I would call profile editors.
All are plastered with Google Ads, which seems like the only way they are going to make any revenue. I’m sure a small percentage of Myspacers pay for custom templates.
Freecodesource.com has many different categories, from animated graphics, video clips, page dividers and even one called dolls. This weeks featured generator is called “The Automatic Myspace Whore Train Joiner.
Looking for the best possibly way to get friends fast? Introducting the Auto Whore Train Joiner. Usually from 1 train round you will usually receive around 2-4 friend requests, well multiply that by 28. Our generator will add you to the top 28 trains available and will dramatically increase your friend count.
It’s simple just enter your Friend ID and click submit. On the next page simply post the bulletin and you will automatically be added to 28 Myspace Whore Trains.
A visit to a typical whoretrain.net FAQ gives us:
What is the ‘Friend Train’?
It’s your opportunity to gain massive friend requests. Users add themselves to the train then post the bulletin with the train in it on MySpace. In return, users that see the bulletin will send friend requests to the people on it. The train automatically clears and restarts every time it reaches 40 people.
â€¢ How many times can I enter my ID into one train?
Only once. If you try to enter it twice it will be rejected.
â€¢ Is there any chance I can be put on top of the train automatically all the time?
Yes. There is an available subscription. Please view the main page and click on the link for it.
â€¢ How many people can fit on one train?
40 people. It will automatically clear and restart when it reaches this number.
â€¢ How do I become a Featured Profile?
This is also an available subscription. Please view the main page and click on the link for it.
â€¢ Can I make my own script that will keep adding me to the train?
NO. Users caught practicing this technique will be suspended or banned without notice.
â€¢ What happens if I’m banned?
You will have to prove to an administrator that you are no longer going to do what you were banned for.
â€¢ What happens if I’m suspended?
Suspensions are not permanant. You can view how much time you have left by attempting you add yourself to the train.
Friend Trains are all about improving your popularity mojo, similar in some sense to PageRank. Most of them are full of fake profiles of hot women.
Pay a subscription fee and your profile will be featured. Sound familiar? They are taking a page from dating sites, coming up with simple and creative ways to make people more popular by making them easier to find.
Spend a few minutes at any of the sites listed above and you’ll see that people are starting to make considerable money in the Myspace cottage industry, and we’re not even talking about generators, tweaks and the other options that I haven’t discovered yet.
When I talk about open profiles, I envision these types of value-added services offering enhancements to online daters. Some dating sites currently offer mild customization options, but nothing compared to what is available on Myspace. These tweaks often make pages more difficult to read, cluttered with junk and long page loads. The flip side is that people can express there personality in ways not possible on dating sites.
There is a middle ground, where simple web technologies can be used to help singles paint a more personalized portrait of themselves. After all, what is more personal than a personal ad?
Technorati Tags: friend+train, myspace, open+profiles