Another social networking site goes live on April 14 with ambitions to become the largest in the UK.

Youmeo.com is being developed out of the Coventry-based PPLparty site set up by 19 year-old Calum Brannan and aims to prove to companies and large organisations that social networking can be their friend too.

The new site is looking to challenge the likes of Facebook and MySpace head on, securing 1,000,000 members by the end of 2008.

It does beg the question, do we need another social networking site?

This is pertinent considering that some are already suggesting the end, while not exactly nigh, is at least starting to appear in the far-off horizon for Facebook et al. Then again, there are plenty of others who maintain reports of Facebook’s death are premature.

As more of us get connected with what Web 2.0 can do, the potential for growth will expand. For all the friends you make on Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and others, you can probably compile a long list of family, friends and colleagues who are not active on the social networks.

Of course, there could be a very good reason for this – such as, they simply aren’t interested. But where Youmeo (the more I type it, the less I like it) is looking to capitalise is by plugging the gaps that currently exists.

They want to include features unavailable on other sites and more importantly they want companies and organisations to start exploring the business benefits of social networking, rather than banning them.

Calum Brannan also believes that Youmeo’s other big advantage – data portability – will make it easier for users to bring in photos, pictures and videos from other websites and as a result make it more attractive to members.

Although none of these differences represent a killer USP, there might be enough on Youmeo to attract the social networkers and a few new converts.

A couple of words of warning though.

Concerns about online privacy will not go away fast and now the Press Complaints Commission has started an investigation into public attitudes towards social networking sites and how the wealth of personal information now available – from idle chat with friends to private photographs – could be used by others, especially journalists.

Also, some are predicting a cyber gridlock which could seriously hamper our surfing pleasure.

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12 responses »

  1. I expect social network software on your PC will be next – so you can build your own personal social network available just to your invited friends and contacts. And be able to have seperate streams for work and leisure.

    Something that gives privacy control (seemingly) back to the client but allows plugins and widgets from your chosen specialist social network sites like photo, video, blog and so on.

    You’re going to tell me this already exists aren’t you?

    I’m not interested in another social network which feels revenue/business/corporate driven.

    I’d really love a new ethical social network where any revenue goes to charitable concerns – and where I can choose which charities get the revenue cut from my advertising clicks, widget use and so on.

    But then I am so far behind the fashion what do I know?

  2. Ursula says:

    The answer to your question is probably: NO.

    Paul, after reading your last entry I am in meltdown.

    Social networking? It’s the new promiscuity; this time not in the bedroom but in cyberspace.

    I believe we should not spread ourselves too widely. Friendships whether in real time, or across the globe as facilitated via the internet, like plants need time, nourishment, contemplation, concentration. So you can only truly accommodate a few if you want to do more than just surf the surface of each other..

    However, I concede that as with many things cyberspace I might be missing not ‘the’ but ‘a’ point.

    Let’s wish a young entrepreneurial 19 old all the best. What I’d like to know is where the ‘o’ in youmeo comes from.

    Time for The Apprentice in 15 minutes. May the best hair cut win.

    U

  3. Paul Groves says:

    There was an interesting piece in The Guardian (I think) a while back by someone who decided to cull their “friends” list – deleting those they didn’t really know or weren’t interested in maintaining any link with. Now that is harsh.
    It also begs the question, why agree to be their “friend” in the first place?
    It smacks of ego-massaging or believing you gain some kind of kudos by displaying the size of your “friendship”.
    But I would say that as I’m not particularly well-endowed as regards the size of my social networking “friendship”.

  4. Ooooh I just read about kaioo.com an ethical social network who donate any advertising revenue to charity. Based in Germany.

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/02/technology/network03.php

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaioo

  5. Ursula says:

    Paul, culling is the old spring cleaning – and yes, it’s harsh, and yes, you are right: I think nowadays we are too quick to pronounce someone a friend when they are an aquaintance. What I find so staggering about all of this social networking, since apparently living in ‘time poor’ times, where does anyone take all that elusive time from, never mind the energy, to facebook et al? These are inflationary times.

    Rachel, I followed your links, and thanks for making me smile. I try and avoid to be cynical at all times because I don’t want to end up with a sour face in my old age, but the bit I am not getting is: When I want to speak to a friend or trace a long lost contact all I need to do is pick up the phone or send an email (or, heaven forbid, a letter). I am scratching my head wondering why I don’t understand the rules of this particular game. Not that I want to.

    As you say kaioo is based in Germany. It’s what Germans do best compared with the rest of Europe: Recycle – all in a worthy cause.

    U

  6. Calum says:

    Hey

    We’re spending a lot of time talking to our users to see exactly what they want to see out of a social network, and this will drive the evolution of youmeo.

    Ursula: youmeo stands for YOU and ME Online (youmeo)

    Interesting blog – great to see feedback

    Many thanks

    Calum

  7. Ursula says:

    Calum, thanks for putting me out of my misery with regards to the ‘o’. Nice touch.

    U

  8. Paul Groves says:

    Calum – thanks for taking the time to comment, I guess you’re probably having a busy time of it lately 😉
    I’ll be lurking around the site for a bit. Good luck.

  9. Baz says:

    youmeo sounds great! The website looks fab too! I like the idea of sharing pics from different social website! you get tired of checking several ones together, it would be fantastic to share the same pics rather than downloading diff ones from each profile!

    Good work! Im addicted to social media! Youmeo def looks like a one im interested in !

    Baz

  10. Paul Groves says:

    Thanks…errr…Baz?
    Very enthusiastic, which is always nice to see.
    You are so enthused, in fact, that I think you could probably do a good marketing job for Youmeo….

    http://www.youmeo.com/team.php

    Hhhmmm….

    Even if I’m wide of the mark, thanks anyway…;-)

  11. Calum says:

    Thanks Paul. Very busy time at the minute..

    I’d love to claim Baz as one of us, but strangely not.. so I recommend the next page:

    http://www.youmeo.com/careers.php

    Take care

    Calum and team 🙂

  12. Paul Groves says:

    Calum – once a suspicious journalist, always a suspicious journalist…

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