Today, M Linden announced that the Lindens have acquired Enemy Unknown AB. It’s a silly name for a company, but goes with the trends of geekery in the world of web 2.0. The primary asset that the company appears to have is Avatars United. M Linden stated that AU will be used to expand the social networking capabilities of Second Life.
I have had an account there for over a year, but I never found a need for it. In fact, my profile there was completely empty when I looked at it today. I’ve been accepting quite a few friend requests today since the announcement.
I think this is a good thing. Second Life on it’s own is not a great social networking tool because it lacks the ability to integrate with other social networks. When you bring an existing site into the mix that does have that integration in mind, it helps extend the 3D platform into the 2D network.
In my opinion though, AU is pretty skimpy and lightweight. In needs to be built up quite a bit. I would like to see some integration with Ping.FM, Snapshot API, and/or expose an API of it’s own to update status messages and blog posts. I made this suggestion as a comment on the announcment posted by M Linden, and tried to include a screenshot of my social networking flowchart. I quickly started getting messages about displaying unsecure content. I found a way around this by using a free image hosting service over SSL (called SSLpic), but I had to resize my image to fit within 750×90 pixels. The end result was that I changed my post to show a thumbnail image, and link to the full size image.