Michael Arrington is reporting that the AOL Games Group may be getting ready to launch a social network for World of Warcraft players, since the company owns wow.com. Could AOL’s reach make wow.com a category-killer? Sean Fanning’s Rupture, another WoW socnet, hasn’t particularly taken off, as I understand it. New entrants to virtual world social networking include Koinup as well. More on the subsector at GigaOm.
AOL’s sticky wall at AOL Pointe
The AOL Pointe project, AOL‘s presence in the virtual world of Second Life (which we published a sneak peek at on Friday), has its official opening today, and the early notices are very favorable. Hiro Pendragon weighs in on the variety of activities available there, while the Second Life Insider has a great pictorial tour. I’ve taken the liberty of borrowing their shot (see above) of AOL’s “sticky wall,” which seems to be everyone’s favorite feature. Credit here goes to the Electric Sheep Company (sponsors of this blog), who seem to have done quite a job of dreaming up diversions for Second Life residents new and old. There are also quite a few events listed on this months AOL Pointe calendar. Continue reading
An anonymous beta tester of AOL‘s new service in the virtual world of Second Life, known as AOL Pointe, just forwarded me the image above, which appears to be the AOL Pointe build, perhaps still under construction. Kind of hard to tell from that angle just where everything’s at, but the build looks nice and colorful, and I dig the textures on the ground. Plus: Is that a skateboard rail I see? Cool. After the jump: a teleport map that indicates the build will be pretty elaborate. Centrifuge? Continue reading
Something else that cropped up while I was away: the news that AOL is launching services in the virtual world of Second Life, described in a Friday article on InfoWorld. Details are few at the moment, but it looks like AOL’s AOL Pointe area within SL will feature “an amphitheater and an extreme sports park, in which the company plans to highlight AOL content and services like AOL Music, Moviefone, TMZ, and Lat34.com.” Given AOL’s enormous audience (AOL.com is at #48 on Alexa’s global top 500) will this mean a flood of new users to Second Life? The company is taking an interesting approach, launching a beta test of its SL site within the next week or so. I haven’t seen this done before; it could be a sensible way for AOL to get its feet wet before they decide whether they want to dive into the virtual world. If they do jump in, look for a big splash. Would Linden Lab‘s already over-taxed servers be able to handle it? We’ll see.