Posted by: vivatymarkh | April 10, 2009

better chat, more flatts

Hey guys,

Crazy week for us in the Vivaty offices. We’ve all been singing tunes from the new Rascal Flatts album “Unstoppable” which you’ve likely seen us blog about, or seen in the news. Just ask “ldunston” when you see him in Vivaty, and he’ll sing you the lines from his favorite Rascal Flatts song, in his best southern accent. 🙂

The new album has been a huge hit in its first week of sales (likely to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard charts next week) and it’s been a huge hit in Vivaty, too. We’ve seen an incredible amount of Rascal Flatts fans dancing to the new album and watching the videos, thanks in part to all the great promotion the band gave on their Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace sites.

You can join the party here.

In the middle of everything, we snuck in a few new features this week ahead of schedule. We launched some improved Avatar Labels. No more huge green text above your head. 🙂 Now, you have a label that will try and stay out of the way. You can click on it to get special actions and learn more about the person, too. More improvements are coming for it, too.

We also upgraded all of the video screens across the community. Now, everyone watches what you watch at the same time. Before, when I started a video, if a friend came and joined me a minute later, that friend started the movie from the beginning, while I was a minute ahead. Now, we’ll sync all the videos together in your personal scene, like we’ve been doing in our cinemas and hangouts for a while now.

Some of you might’ve noticed a couple bits of randomness. For example, the screen picture might’ve been a little screwy. We just made a fix to that last night, so all pictures should look great (although we have to repair the “Zoom” feature). Secondly, some videos may no longer work, or instead may be silent. This one, unfortunately, is a little out of our control. As you know, our video provider is YouTube, and they enabled features that allow video owners to disable usage or sound of the videos unless they’re viewed at YouTube.com. If you find your video isn’t working, it’s very very likely that the owner of that video has disabled sharing. We’re sorry about this, but unfortunately, there’s not a ton we can do to change YouTube’s policies.

Finally, stay tuned for a couple of new posts on some upcoming features!

Thanks,

Mark Hull
VP Products

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