Teen social network Kiwibox relaunches out of beta

It's been around since the late '90s and still doesn't have the name recognition of a MySpace or Piczo, so the social site revamps itself and plans to spread the word.

Today in teen news: Kiwibox, a social network and editorial content site geared toward the Miley Cyrus set, announced Monday that it's exited beta and launched "Kiwibox 2.0." In the new launch are sleeker drag-and-drop profile pages, a new casual-gaming section, more video content aggregated on "KiwiboxTV," and more editorial content contributed by members.

As with many teen-oriented sites, Kiwibox members earn "points" for completing activities on the site--writing articles for its weekly online magazine, filling out certain profile criteria--which they can then redeem for real-world prizes like iPods. Right now, Kiwibox has about 60 pieces of original content per day,

Something you probably didn't know: the oddly named Kiwibox first launched in 1999, meaning that it's been around since before many of its young members could read. The good news is that it's stayed afloat. The not-so-good news is that its membership count is still only 1.8 million, enough for an active user base but still a fraction of the size of much younger sites like MySpace or even smaller ones like Piczo.

After the relaunch, Kiwibox hopes to rev up its numbers with an impending marketing campaign as well as content partnerships that will syndicate its own content across the Web and bring in new third-party content. There will be technological partnerships as well, including a deal with a video partner to create a branded player.

CEO Lin Dai is confident it'll succeed, too. "We know the content plus social network model really works," he said in an interview with CNET News.com last week.

 

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