Screenshot of Hi5's sign up/log in
Type of site
Social networking service
Available inMultilingual
OwnerThe Meet Group
Founder(s)Ramu Yalamanchi
LaunchedJune 27, 2004; 20 years ago (2004-06-27)
Current statusActive
Previous Hi5 logo used until 2010.
Map of countries with most users of Hi5

hi5 is an American social networking service based in San Francisco, California. It is owned by The Meet Group.[1][2]

Users can create a profile and provide personal information including interests, age, photos, and hometown. Users can also send friend requests via email to other users. When a person receives a friend request, he may accept or decline it, or block the user altogether. If the user accepts another user as a friend, the two will be connected directly or in the 1st degree. The user will then appear on the person's contact list and vice versa. Some users opt to make their profiles available for everyone on hi5 to view. Other users exercise the option to make their profile viewable only to those people who are in their network.

In a 2009 redesign, hi5 added features oriented toward gaming and entertainment.[3] The site featured over 200 games in a variety of genres, and was adding games at a rate of 2-3 per week.[4] It is targeted to users that are interested in flirting, dating, and making new friends.[5] In order to join hi5, users must be age 18 or older.[3] Due to hi5's shift in focus to social gaming, Comscore reclassified hi5 as an online gaming site in early 2011. According to comScore, hi5 ranked as the 6th most trafficked online gaming site.[6]


The company was founded in 2003 by Ramu Yalamanchi.[citation needed] It was profitable in its first year.[7]

By 2006, it had become the 8th largest social networking service.[8]

Prior to 2004, the company had raised $250,000 from angel investors.[citation needed]

By 2007, it was the 2nd largest social networking service after Myspace.[9][10]

In 2007, the company raised $20 million in a series A round from Mohr Davidow Ventures, as well as $15 million in venture debt.[11][12]

In 2008, comScore reported that hi5 was the third most popular social networking service in monthly unique visitors behind Facebook and MySpace.[13] It was also the fastest growing social network.[14] However, international growth of Facebook later hurt hi5.[15] It was most popular in Latin America.[16]

The company had gained significant market share in Europe, Latin America, and Asia, and Mary Meeker had cited hi5 as the 10th largest site in the World in her 2007 Technology / Internet Trends report.[17]

Bill Gossman was appointed CEO in April 2009,[18] and at that time, hi5 refocused itself as a social-network game platform and opened itself to new game developers.[19]

In early 2010, hi5 acquired social gaming company Big Six.[20]

In 2010, it announced it had raised $3 million convertible note from existing investor Mohr Davidow, bringing the funding up to $38 million.[21]

In October 2010, hi5 announced Sociopath, a set of developer tools designed to make it easier for developers to bring their game to the hi5 platform. A major part of the program was the implementation of Facebook compatible APIs, which simplified the process of bringing games already developed for Facebook to hi5. Sociopath also introduced anonymous play to the site, making it easier for gamers to play games immediately without first having to provide registration info.[22] Sociopath was initially introduced at GDC Online in 2010.[23]

In July 2010, the company raised $14 million from Crosslink Capital.[24]

In January 2011, Alex St. John joined the company as President and CTO.[25]

As a companion to Sociopath, hi5 introduced Sociopay in early 2011. Sociopay was intended to help hi5 to better monetize users, increasing revenues for themselves and developers. Sociopay automatically adjusts the prices for hi5 coins based upon a user's region, capitalizing on hi5's international success and helping to monetize users from many different economies. Sociopay also helps monetize users less likely to purchase coins by instead serving them advertisements.[26]

In December 2011, the assets of the company were acquired by Tagged.[27]

After selling to Tagged, the management team of hi5 formed magi.com as a pure gaming site open to other game developers.[28] Magi.com was shut down in June 2012.[29]

With Tagged's acquisition of hi5, the gaming platform changed from third-party developed games to games developed by Tagged's in-house team. Tagged noted that hi5's games weren't as "vibrant" as they could be.[30]

In 2017, Tagged and hi5 were acquired by The Meet Group for $60 million.[31]

See also


  1. ^ Raice, Shayndi (December 14, 2011). "Tagged acquires Facebook competitor Hi5". The Wall Street Journal.
  2. ^ Malik, Om (July 22, 2007). "Social Network Hi5 gets $20 million". Gigaom.
  3. ^ a b Kale, Vivek (November 25, 2016). Big Data Computing: A Guide for Business and Technology Managers. CRC Press. ISBN 9781315354026.
  4. ^ Shaul, Brandy (April 23, 2011). "Hi5 gaining momentum among top online/social gaming sites; should Facebook be concerned?". Games.com.
  5. ^ Nations, Daniel (December 19, 2019). "What Is Hi5, and Is It Different from Facebook?". Lifewire.
  6. ^ Takahashi, Dean (April 20, 2010). "hi5 Becomes a Top Ten Online Game Site". Venturebeat.
  7. ^ "Then and now: a history of social networking sites". CBS News.
  8. ^ Cashmore, Pete (July 16, 2006). "hi5, Another Massive Social Network". Mashable.
  9. ^ Arrington, Michael (January 20, 2007). "Hi5 Traffic Surges, May Be The Largest Social Network". TechCrunch.
  10. ^ "7 social media sites that failed to become 'Facebook'". The Economic Times. 28 May 2017.
  11. ^ WEISENTHAL, JOSEPH (January 29, 2008). "Social Net Hi5 Raises $15 Million Venture Debt". Gigaom.
  12. ^ "Social Networking Site Hi5 Takes $20 million". TechCrunch. July 22, 2007.
  13. ^ "Social Networking Explodes Worldwide as Sites Increase their Focus on Cultural Relevance" (Press release). comScore. August 12, 2008.
  14. ^ "hi5 Is Fastest-Growing Top-10 Social Network in the World for First Half of 2008" (Press release). Business Wire. July 23, 2008.
  15. ^ Lynley, Matt (December 14, 2011). "The Third Largest Social Network Behind Facebook Just Gobbled Up hi5". Business Insider.
  16. ^ Eldon, Eric (June 3, 2008). "The Latin American social networking wars: Market leader Hi5 has been growing, but so has Facebook — and Sonico?". VentureBeat.
  17. ^ "Ramu Yalamanchi". angel.co.
  18. ^ Eldon, Eric (April 24, 2009). "Bill Gossman is social network Hi5's new chief executive". VentureBeat.
  19. ^ MacMillan, Douglas (March 12, 2010). "Social Network Hi5 Gets Its Game On". Bloomberg News.
  20. ^ Rao, Leena (February 24, 2010). "hi5 Acquires Social Gaming Company Big Six". TechCrunch.
  21. ^ Rao, Leena (April 1, 2010). "Social Network hi5 Raises $3 Million In Debt From Mohr Davidow". Techcrunch.
  22. ^ Takahashi, Dean (October 6, 2010). "Will Hi5's new SocioPath game platform lure developers away from Facebook?". VentureBeat.
  23. ^ Caoili, Eric (October 6, 2010). "GDC Online: Hi5 Debuts SocioPath Social Gaming Platform". Gamasutra.
  24. ^ TAKAHASHI, DEAN (July 13, 2010). "Hi5 raises $14M as it shifts into social games and virtual goods". VentureBeat.
  25. ^ Takahashi, Dean (November 30, 2009). "hi5 recruits a beastly gaming veteran as its president". VentureBeat.
  26. ^ Brodie, Joel (February 28, 2011). "Talking SocioPath and SocioPay with Hi5's Alex St. John". Gamezebo.
  27. ^ Hoge, Patrick (14 December 2011). "Tagged buys assets of Hi5". American City Business Journals.
  28. ^ Rose, Mike (March 6, 2012). "Gamasutra - Former Hi5 president Alex St. John reveals new social games network". Gamasutra.
  29. ^ Thompson, Mike (June 6, 2012). "Magi.com shutting down". Adweek.
  30. ^ Ha, Anthony (January 26, 2012). "Tagged Begins Transformation Of Social Gaming Network hi5". TechCrunch.
  31. ^ Constine, Josh (March 6, 2017). "Old-school social networks Tagged and Hi5 bought by MeetMe for $60M". TechCrunch.