Hi5 Network’s monthly visits have almost doubled in a year. Hi5.com’s monthly visitors jumped to over 56 million recently. Around the same time last year, Hi5’s monthly visitors were 31 million. Given the continuous growth, Hi5 hired several senior executives.
Jeff Stephens joined Hi5 as the CFO. David Kim is joining to manage Hi5 partnerships, revenue planning, and strategic planning. Noelia Amoedo is joining as VP of Hi5 Networks Mobile. Ram Gudavalli became the VP of Hi5 Networks Engineering. Michael Trigg joined as VP of Marketing. Adriana Gascoigne is joining as the Director of Communications. And lastly, Karen Richardson is joining as the chairperson for the company Board of Directors.
“We’ve experienced tremendous growth in the last year, and I’m thrilled we have assembled a world-class team to capitalize on our market position,” stated Hi5 CEO Ramu Yalamanchi. “The depth and diversity of experience of our leadership team is a huge asset and will help take our business to the next level.”
Hi5 started in 2003 by Yalamanchi. The site has over 1 million registered users. However, the way that Hi5 builds their user base is can be linked to spamming users.
According to Wikipedia’s description of Hi5, when a user signs up for Hi5, the user is asked their email password. When the user gives their e-mail password, Hi5 scans the user’s address book and sends an invitation to each e-mail address it finds. When Hi5 sends e-mails to professional contacts, it can be quite embarrasing for the original user that signed up. Apparently, invites are sent without consent from the user.
Morals aside, is this the right way to build a social network? I think it’s wrong that a social networks goes into your address book and e-mails everyone without consent. I put Hi5 in the same league of social networks as Tagged and Yaari.