December 27, 2011
Last week, a new Facebook application borrowing on Second Life’s theme of an alternate, digital reality, announced it’s launch. Much like Second Life, Dot Friends is a virtual landscape where friends can hang out, chat, buy virtual products, but .Friends ties in a Facebook users’ profiles, allowing a more seamless transition into their offline worlds.
“While Facebook is a great platform for keeping in touch and meeting new people, it’s still missing that offline element of interaction that helps us make connections that much closer. .Friends builds on the incredible platform that Facebook provides and adds a virtual-layer that makes it that much more fun to hang out with your friends and meet new one,” says Jonah Balfour, Dot Friends’ Content Manager.
If .Friends users start to hit off in this virtual setting, they can start a private conversation, or even start up a real-life video chat thus lifting the veil on the digital avatar.
With Dot Friends, “you customize the ‘virtual you’ just the way you want and hang out with your Facebook friends and make new ones.” Although the premise highlights creating “the virtual you”, there are no guidelines or suggestions that a user’s avatar resemble their real-life physical appearance- thus allowing the user to reinvent themselves more so than recreate.
Like other massively multiplayer online games (MMOG), .Friends focuses on a user building his/her reputation through buying more social goods- in this case clothes, accessories, or drinks (for themselves or others). A user earns more virtual cash every time he/she logs into the application or when he/she gets friends to sign up for an account. In the short-term future, look for users to have the option to purchase more virtual cash, most likely through Facebook Credits.
Dot Friends was established in February 2011, and is led by CEO Ido Hardonag with funding from private investors.
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