Yunomi: Advertising and Social Networking Sites
In the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, of Saturday September 26th, there was an article (Dutch) on a new Dutch website: Yunomi. This website is stated to be a ‘platform’ for women, with articles about fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Visitors of Yunomi cannot only read these articles, but also participate by writing articles themselves and communicating with other users. Even though the site doesn’t have a lay-out really similar to that of Social Networking Sites (SNSs) such as Hyves or Facebook, Yunomi can somehow be seen as such as site. There is the possibility to create your own user profile, become friends with other members and stay in touch with them by following what they write on the site or by sending messages to them. According to Boyd and Ellison, these three possibilities are characteristics of a social networking site. In its kind, Yunomi even seems to be an interesting SNS since it aims at women only and isn’t as general as, for example, Hyves.
So how can this website Yunomi be seen? On the one hand, it’s a niche social networking site, a ‘platform’ that can be useful to its members, mainly women, for they can read about topics that interest them and work on their online social network. On the other hand, the site is all about advertising and the amount of products of Unilever on it is overwhelming. Unilever also admits to use information (Dutch) of its Yunomi visitors to better understand its relation to its clients.
It would be interesting to research the way users of SNSs deal with this advertizing, especially since there are several of these sites where advertizing plays a big role. On Hyves for example, there are often games that can be played, which are sponsored by brands and thus part of advertisement. These brands and companies have a great influence on the lay-out and content of these SNSs, and determine the way users use the sites. They do this often by ‘hiding’ themselves behind a website such as Yunomi or a game on Hyves, thereby not directly confronting the user with the fact that all his information is actually captured in order to do right marketing.
1) Boyd, Danah M., Nicole B. Ellison. ‘Social Networks: Definition, History, and Scholarship’. In: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13 (1), 2008, article 11.
2) Fuchs, Christian. Social Networking Sites and the Surveillance Society. A Critical Case Study of the Usage of studiVZ, Facebook, and MySpace by Students in Salzburg in the Context of Electronic Surveillance. Salzburg/Vienna: Research Group UTI, 2009.