Virb 2.0 social network gets smarter

Original Article

Very good overview of Virb. Where it came from and how it is today.

In 2007, Virb wrapped the social aspects of Facebook with the rich, media-centric platform of MySpace in a gorgeous package that looks better than both.

When Virb came to the scene, it desired to do MySpace the right way, while adding a good bit of original and artistic flare based off the individual users. The Facebook social aspects included items such as groups and photo sharing. It looked to be the answer to those frustrated with MySpace and those that wanted more than what Facebook offered at the time.

One of Virb’s most unfortunate shortcomings, however, is its substantial lack of a mobile version. Users can e-mail blog posts, status updates, and photos from any mobile phone, but Virb has no optimized version for mobile phones, though a native iPhone client is in the works.

This statement is very true in today’s world of Twitter, Facebook Mobile, MySpace Mobile, and everything social going mobile, but Virb also suffers from the problem with what it initially set out to accomplish.

As already stated, Virb brought together the best of both Facebook and MySpace in a much better looking package. At first glance, this would be considered a winner, but by 2007, both social giants had huge followings with the numbers continuing to soar higher. No one wanted to leave their social site because that is where their friends were.

Facebook was able to succeed in taking from MySpace by filling a niche from the start with the University and High school students. They created an almost elitist group of people. You had to have a “membership” card to even get in. MySpace initially filled the niche of music interests, indie bands, and their fans.

Virb’s originality was not really apparent. It wanted to do the same, just better.

In an effort to become a “social homepage” like FriendFeed, Virb has increased the number of services it can import, including Twitter, Digg, Flickr, Vimeo, and more. But your stuff from some services, such as Flickr and Vimeo, are not just imported as entries on a sandboxed activity stream—they actually get displayed in your photo and video album areas alongside the content you create at the site.

Virb 2.0 is heading in a new direction. Rather than simply duplicate, they are now going to use all the other services to create a social aggregate. This idea isn’t new to Virb 2.0, but Virb 2.0 appears to be putting this in the forefront. This is their new direction.

Although this idea too is not entirely original, let’s hope their execution of the idea increases their 250k user base and makes them a real contender in the social scene.

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