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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Hi5 Acquired PixVerse To Enhance Real-Time User Interaction

image hi5 Networks, one of the world’s largest social networks, announced its acquisition of PixVerse, Inc., an innovative provider of rich, real-time interactions within social networks. Built on its breakthrough Flash™-based, no-download virtual world platform, PixVerse developed the popular and highly interactive Pix Chat and Pix Wall applications, which run on hi5 and other social networking services through platform integration.

“PixVerse has great technology that delivers a very immersive end user experience,” said Ramu Yalamanchi, CEO of hi5. “Communicating with friends is one of the primary benefits of hi5, and this technology and team enables hi5 to deliver a much richer, more visual medium of interaction for users of our network.”

Founded in 2007, PixVerse was backed by Venrock, a premier venture capital firm. The company was an early adopter of Google App Engine™, which enables developers to build their web apps on the same infrastructure that powers Google's own applications. With a mission to enable virtual worlds on the web, PixVerse was a pioneer in developing end user applications on top of the leading social network platforms.

“When we set out to build our applications, we were immediately drawn to the hi5 platform,” said Charles Ying, co-founder of PixVerse. “Access to the social graph enabled us to leverage hi5’s 80 million users to drive our growth. And the fact that hi5 is part of OpenSocial, rather than a proprietary platform, meant our work was extensible and reusable.”

PixVerse is one of thousands of third-party software developers that have written applications to run on top of the hi5 Platform since its launch in April 2008. Ranging from enhanced friend interactions to games, applications on hi5 provide a popular way of extending the social networking experience and enhancing end user engagement. Every day, hundreds of thousands of hi5 users install applications on the hi5 Platform, with over 50% hi5’s daily users interacting with at least one application. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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