Google Launches Virtual World Lively

July 9th, 2008 at 12:00 am

google lively

Virtual Worlds or MMO’s have always been the epitome of online precense.  It’s in these cyberspaces that anyone can be anything they want.  Recently, Second Life, Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin, have been dominating the market with millions of accounts and communities actually living in their cyber space.  In fact, about $161 million in venture capital has poured into 16 Virtual Worlds this second quarter alone.  Another  $184 million into 23 worlds in the first quarter.   Basically, this niche is a hot market.

So, whenever there is a hot market dominated by a lot of small players enjoying the millions of dollars supplied by the venture capitalists, the big companies step in.  Which is exactly what happened in the online office suites, Zoho had it all then Microsoft and Google jumped in.  Today, Google is taking a shot on the virtual world market.

Google has launched Lively, a 3D virtual experience that is the newest addition to Google Labs. According to the announcement , "The Lively team wants to help people experience another dimension of the web. We hope you will use the product to express yourself with and without words, and to do this in the places you already visit on the web."

Basically, it’s another Virtual World.  Unlike the rest, it’s still free to use.  Google has made no announcement yet if they were going to charge for special items.

However, Lively has not been well received.  A lot of articles say its a weak attempt by Google to hop on the virtual world band wagon.  Some say it’s slow, and pointless. Others just don’t see what Google’s Lively has so special to make them join a virtual world.

Hence, Lively will be in the Virtual World market but so far, it’s not good.  Usage may ramp up a bit but without  an edge over Second Life, Habbo Hotel or CLu Penguin, Lively may just stay where it is.