Over 200 Developers in U.S. and Mexico Will Convene Mar. 15 to Simultaneously Build Applications for hi5 Using OpenSocial™; Best New hi5 Apps Launching Mar. 31

Mexico, Mexico DF; March 13, 2008 — hi5, a leading international social network, today announced that it is gearing up for the launch of its open-source development platform with the industry’s first-ever, bi-national hackathon on Saturday, March 15. The day-long hi5 hackathon will bring together over 200 commercial, independent and student developers, who will code new hi5 applications, socialize and share their work from two locations in the U.S. and Mexico: the Google Campus in Mountain View, California; and the Campus Estado de Mexico of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). Joining the developers will be representatives of hi5, Google, Globant, ITESM, and Joyent.

“We are thrilled to have a diverse and talented group of developers coming together to share their expertise and learning, to produce new applications and widgets for our 80 million members worldwide,” says hi5 Founder and CEO, Ramu Yalamanchi. “With our platform launch, members will find new ways to interact, express their individual identities, and enjoy their hi5 experience, through the social and fun applications that developers are building for them.” 

By supporting OpenSocial, a simple and practical set of open technologies, hi5 encourages developers to build innovative applications. Working with hi5 introduces developers to millions of users they are able to reach more easily with the OpenSocial APIs. "Open standards like OpenSocial are giving developers a fast track into a distribution network that stretches across many countries and tens of millions of users," said Joe Kraus, director of product management at Google and an early contributor to the OpenSocial initiative. "hi5 is on the leading edge of the social Web in this regard, and both developers and hi5 members should end up with high quality apps."

The Mexican event was organized jointly with Globant, leader company in software product development and maintenance: “We are deeply committed to developing applications that increase adoption of Open Social within different social networks”, explained Guibert Englebienne, Globant´s CTO. “We also believe that peer collaboration is bringing more innovation and creativity than ever. The Hackathon is a great opportunity for promoting this innovative platform and for giving developers a chance to produce applications having a same goal in mind.”

The Benefits of Developing for hi5
In total, there are currently over 3000 developers around the world who have registered to build applications for hi5’s membership, and who have already submitted hundreds of applications now under review for inclusion with the hi5 Platform launch. Working with hi5 presents several opportunities for these developers:

Global Reach, New Distribution
• hi5 is ranked by Alexa® as the #8 website globally, and the most-trafficked site in nearly a dozen countries, including many in Latin America, Europe and Asia. According to cross-visitation data from comScore, less than one third of hi5 users are also active on other leading social networks – providing an expanded audience for developers’ apps.

Ease of Development
•Because hi5 is a founding adopter of OpenSocial, developers’ apps can be deeply integrated within hi5, as well as easily translated beyond hi5 to other OpenSocial-enabled websites – further increasing their reach potential by many millions.

Monetization
•With the platform launch, hi5 will provide developers with a dedicated canvas page for their applications which they can monetize through advertising (in addition to any other revenue-generating strategies they have or arrange with hi5).

Viral Channels
•hi5 will also provide developers with numerous viral channels to promote their apps to hi5 users, including notifications, invites, messages, friend updates and more — within allowable limits to ensure an optimal user experience.

Free Infrastructure and Translation for First 100 Apps
•For the first 100 new apps that are approved for the hi5 Platform launch, the associated developers will win one year of scalable, on-demand architecture on a Joyent Accelerator™. Additionally, hi5 will provide Spanish or English translation for these apps as well. 

"We are impressed with how quickly the hi5 Platform team responds to feedback from developers," says PixVerse Founder, Charles Ying.  "At a recent code lab, we were able to port Pix Wall, our photo application for hi5 to other leading social networks within 90 minutes, thanks to hi5's use of OpenSocial." 

How to Learn More
Detailed information for developers is available at http://developer.hi5.com/. hi5 will announce and begin rolling out new applications for its users on March 31. Developers seeking to have their applications included at launch should immediately register with hi5, review hi5’s Application Guidelines and have their feature-complete qualifying application in the hi5 sandbox by Friday, March 28. 

Members of the media who would like to learn more about hi5, its soon-to-be launched platform and/or the hackathon, should email PR at hi5.com. A limited number of seats is available for journalists at both hi5 hackathon locations, but advance registration is required by Friday, March 14 at noon Pacific.

More information about OpenSocial is available at http://code.google.com/apis/opensocial.

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About hi5 Networks, Inc.
hi5 Networks, Inc. is a privately-held firm headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Its flagship service, hi5, was launched in 2003 and is now one of the leading social networks in the world — ranked by Alexa® as a top 10 website globally and the #1 or #2 most-trafficked website in nearly a dozen countries, including many in Latin America, Europe and Asia. More than 80 million people in over 200 nations are registered for hi5, which is available in eighteen languages (with more to come). Individuals use hi5 to stay connected and share information with friends and family around the world, meet new people, express their identity, and discover linkages throughout their lives. For more information, please visit www.hi5.com or www.hi5networks.com

            Media Contact:
            Denise Graab, PR at hi5.com, (415) 962-7075

About Globant

Globant is the Latin American leader in software product development and maintenance outsourcing. With a rational blended approach of leveraging Open-Source and proprietary software, Globant gives companies agility and flexibility while mitigating risk and reducing total cost of ownership. Globant’s proprietary SmartStaffing Technology™ yields high performance teams that enable companies to quickly develop their software products faster and gain an edge in the competitive landscape with the lowest total cost of ownership. Globant is a privately held, privately funded company headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina with offices in Tandil and La Plata in Argentina, Palo Alto, Phoenix and Boston in the United States, Mexico City and London. For more information, visit www.globant.com.

Google and OpenSocial are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

Joyent and Joyent Accelerator are trademarks of Joyent, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. More information about Joyent Accelerators is available at http://joyent.com/accelerator/ .

Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.