WebShots, Social Network with pictures?

Mike Arrington covered the briefing on WebShots, a CNET photo service that’s going to go after Facebook with College Life–a clever re- mix of photo integration, social networking, and event planning and coverage.
Given that college students often blend dating with hanging out, WebShots could be a strong competitor to Facebook and to online dating sites serving more casual daters (especially the free ones).
For virality, WebShots offers what they call (misleadingly,I think): Blog badges. These links lead to pages that offer users the chance to grab photos via RSS or javascript and add them to a stream elsewhere, like within a newsreader.
As Martin Green, GM of their community group, point out in the TC comments: “the site offers post to blog functionality on every photo page, and RSS and APIs links in the footer.”
According to Mike, CNET wants this business to be FaceBook meets flickr–he says they already have about 40 million total users and 300 million photos–and now it’s time to tackle the 30 million or so U.S. young adults between 18-25 years via ” College Live.”
So whaddya think?–Will they make it and grab a big share of the market?
Dunno–but the clever mix of features and mass market look should appeal to students whose schools don’t have FB and who want something beyond myspace.

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  1. Foxxy says:

    I’m no expert, but I think that yes, there is lots of potential for them to take a sizeable portion of the market. Facebook and MySpace are the major players right now but lack the photo capabilities that someone like Kodak or Webshots can bring. I am somewhat skeptical though, as more and more we see that social networking is going wirless, as we’ve seen with the recent news about MySpace and Facebook both going mobile.. To say, however, that Webshots is really like a Facebook meets flickr—is hardly the case. Such a thing does not exist yet. The closest thing I’ve found is where.com, a true mobile social networking site that has flickr like features where users can download those crappy mobile pix, share and tag and talk and all those great features we enjoy so much on Facebook and MySpace. It’ll be interesting to see how survival of the fittest plays out as more and more social networking sites are rolled out.

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