Wednesday, July 30, 2008

hi5 Is Fastest-Growing Top-10 Social Network in the World for First Half of 2008

SAN FRANCISCO, Jul 29, 2008 -- hi5 Networks, one of the world's largest social networks, announced today that it is also the world's fastest growing among the top-10 global social networks. Based on the June comScore Media Metrix worldwide figures released today, hi5 grew 79% in the first half of 2008 - more than twice the growth rate of any of the top 10 social networks. According to comScore, the popular site's monthly unique visitors increased from 31.4 million in December 2007 to 56.4 million in June 2008 - an increase of 25 million monthly visitors.

The June numbers firmly establish hi5 as the company to watch in the social networking category. According to comScore, Facebook and MySpace increased 35% and 10%, respectively, over the same time period. And hi5, with its huge international user base, has nearly 20 million more unique visitors per month than other comparable sites in the social networking category, including Orkut, Bebo, and Friendster.

"These latest numbers from comScore demonstrate the incredible growth hi5 has had in the first six months of this year," said Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of hi5. "Our success is really testament to the team's execution, as well as the tremendous opportunity in the international social networking segment, which we've targeted from the beginning."

With over 80% of its users outside the US, hi5 has pursued a very distinct and successful strategy for winning international markets. Rather than a generic approach, hi5 delivers a more localized, culturally-relevant social networking experience. This strategy goes beyond translation (the site is available in 24 languages today, with an additional 40 languages and variants coming by year's end) to true localization. Local dialects, local ad partners, even localized features, all help deliver a unique experience that resonates with users' customs and cultures.

"Because we've focused on the international opportunity from the start, we've developed a very acute sense of the unique behaviors and needs of users in different countries," said Yalamanchi. "Not everyone wants the typical one-size-fits-all social networking experience. By embracing these unique attributes in our product, we help build a sense of cultural affinity with our users that keeps them engaged with the site and telling their friends about hi5."

comScore is recognized as the premier online audience measurement and ratings service. comScore and Media Metrix are trademarks of comScore, Inc.

About hi5
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, hi5 is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing social networks. Our focus is to empower our users to build and maintain culturally relevant connections between friends and family online. With over 50 million unique visitors every month, hi5 is a top 20 website globally and the #1 social network in 25 countries across Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The service is available in 24 languages, delivering localized content and applications to users worldwide.
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