Weblin can make any Web site social

New service lets people have an avatar that they can use to communicate with others visiting the same sites.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read
Weblin is a service that allows people to have avatars that appear on the Web pages they visit and communicate with any other Weblin users who are visiting the same pages. Weblin

If you're a social media addict but think that visiting regular Web sites is a lonely experience, you might want to take a look at Weblin.

Created by a German company, Weblin is designed to make the experience of surfing Web sites social--or make services like Facebook or MySpace.com more social. It does so by letting users create an avatar that they can then, effectively, take with them as they move around from site to site.

If they then find themselves on a site that is being visited at the same time by other Weblin users, then they can communicate with each other.

Weblin's main model is a small download, but it is also about to launch a light version that will require no downloads or plug-ins and will simply auto-assign users an avatar rather than them getting to choose their own. Weblin

The main Weblin service is a small download that allows users to register and then create their own avatar. But next week, Weblin plans to launch a light version of the service that requires no download or plug-in and which assigns an avatar to everyone who uses it.

That means that users would have less control over the experience, but at the same time they'd be able to use Weblin without doing anything except use the Web. Additionally, the light version will not require registration. Rather, users will just have to enter a URL into a Weblin page.

Down the line, Weblin says, it hopes to make it possible to integrate Weblin with users' existing avatars from some virtual worlds.

For the time being, of course, Weblin's utility seems like it only comes from there being a critical mass of users and when users visit sites that are popular with others employing the service. But over time, if it grows large enough, it could provide a fun alternative to the traditional way of using Web sites.

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