Review of Skyrock Social Media
Originally a blogging site out of France, Skyrock has turned into a social media hub. While blogging is still supposed to be a big component of this popular site, adding a profile with pictures and exchanging comments and messages with friends and other site members seems to be the major function now. The site is still biggest in France but it is growing. One of the 50th most visited sites in that country, it is also pretty popular in Belgium and Switzerland. There are member now throughout Europe, and while most users live in Western Europe, there are members globally. This first French blogging site is free, and it is estimated that there are more than 11 million members. A site made up mainly of teenagers, it seems that membership hasn’t been increasing, and the popularity of other social media sites like Facebook may be to blame. But is that Skyrock’s only problem?
When you visit Skyrock.com, you notice a busy, bright home page with featured profiles and blinking ads. This site is immediately reminiscent of some of the earlier giants of social media, particularly MySpace. As you explore the site, the similarities to MySpace become so uncanny, Skyrock begins to look like a knockoff. The profiles are busy. They are customized with different colors and fonts and backgrounds. Originally a blogging site, it is surprising that you have to click on a separate link to read blogs. Comments for them are left directly on their page along with virtual gifts and “awards.” Users can be rated, presumably on their looks. It seems like most of the profiles visited are most likely not real people. Predominantly “female” members seem to be on the site, and a surprising amount of them are very attractive and / or in a professional photo. Many photos seem to feature women much younger or older than their stated ages. Additionally, it is surprising how many profiles that list their only language as English have blogs in French. All in all, Skyrock looks and feels like MySpace in 2006, if 2006 had today’s technology. Even many of the profile photos help to lend this vibe. Many profile pictures are self-portraits taken with an extended arm after applying ample self-tanner and making what is now known as “the duck face.”
Despite the critique, it seems that Skyrock may be doing better than MySpace, so it seems to be doing something right. As a site aimed mainly at those who are too young to know what MySpace was in its heyday, it seems to be doing a good job on capitalizing on youthful enthusiasm and exhibitionism. Facebook flourishes on connecting primarily with those you have already met. Skyrock seems to be capitalizing on young people’s urge to meet and flirt with new people, have total strangers on the other side of the globe tell them they are pretty and have a space to write off quick, grammatically incorrect missives when their parents ground them.
Lars Hendrixis a social media expert and interested in videos, music, literature, data recovery and new technologies.
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