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Is Flash Why iYomu Died?

Posted by Sravan | July 1, 2008 .

Starting its name with a small ‘i’, having a flash-based personality test with another small ‘i’, and even a million dollar challenge couldn’t help iYomu take off.

iYomu, which stands for “I, You, Me and Us”, was a flash-heavy social networking site. It started a little less than a year ago branding itself as a “social networking website for grown-ups”. When it began, it seemed unique in many ways. It targeted the 25-55 age group, disallowed those below 18 from entering, and hoped to serve the mature audience as a platform for staying in touch with family and friends around the world, storing and sharing important documents and photos, or finding advice.

So when Richard MacManus, the Kiwi blogger on ReadWriteWeb, shared the news of iYomu’s expiry, everyone including him had the same question: why?

The reason that resonated the most, and that we here are interested in, turns out to be Flash! Though using flash gave iYomu a unique look, it turned out to be impractical for a social network. As one commentator put it, it came in the way of socializing, with pages taking ages to load, and a global search being tougher to create with so much data behind a flash interface.

Personally, I have another related theory. As the age bracket gets higher, the tech-savviness and online-attention-span get lower. People who only use IE 6 or 7, and those who find browsing drowsing will be in record numbers. It thus doesn’t help that a flash plugin needs to be installed. Half the folks might have just closed the website on seeing an ominous bar slide down notifying the user of missing plugins.

What do you think might have been a reason?

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2 Comments so far
  1. Jensa  July 3, 2008 12:44 pm

    I think Flash is solid part of the reason. Do you remember the Microsoft spinoff Wallop? Same story, different skin. Looking at a simple comparison, I’d say they haven succeeded http://siteanalytics.compete.com/flashmagazine.com+wallop.com+flex888.com/?metric=uv

    A social network should be bigger than a couple community sites, don’t you think? I never tried iYomu, but on Wallop the Flash interface really got in the way. It was less than intuitive, as opposed to HTML where users usually grasp where to click even if something’s poorly designed. Beeing too creative on any site that is designed for the masses is bound to fail based on all the experience I have.

    J

  2. Sravan  July 4, 2008 2:26 am

    Wallop? I thought it was dead long ago. I mean, after the initial excitement and it being invite-only, people are still not sure what it really is.

    I went back to their site and looked at a few profiles on the home page, and Jensa, I understood what you meant when you said about it being “less than intuitive” and “too creative”. I click on one photo, and some other photo of the album comes up. And “add-ons” need to be bought!

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