Social networks go niche

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From Brand Republic: “The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and 10Duke have launched the first specialist tennis-dedicated online network, claiming that vertical communities will displace the likes of YouTube and MySpace. The ATP is using 10Duke’s technology platform to take its existing offline community online. Users can upload footage to 30Love.net via online and mobile to show off their tennis skills. Tennis fans can access behind the scenes clips from the pro tennis tour, view exclusive player video clips and share photos, videos and personal profiles.”

Again, from Brand Republic: “Sky is in talks with Facebook about launching a permanent branded presence on the social-networking site created for students. The satellite broadcaster is running its first ad campaign on the site to gauge whether the site’s 3.7m monthly unique users are willing to interact with its brand. If the trials are successful, Sky intends to invest in the development of a Facebook group to promote its premium subscription services, flagship programmes and bundled TV, broadband and telephony package.”

Comment: Somewhere along the line the plethora of social networks will break and users will rebel. They don’t want to log into 10 social networks before breakfast just to pick up every single “poke”. Either OpenID will work as a concept (although it’s sorely in need of a re-brand, since who wants their ID open?) or they just won’t join a niche networking site, prefering instead to set up their own Tennis group inside Facebook, et al. And guess what? Sky is getting in there early and setting up its own. This seems like the smarter move.

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