“The Hub” Unplugged

Ad Age reports on the demise of Wal-Mart’s social networking experiment.

Less than three months after launching its quasi-social-networking site aimed at teens, Wal-Mart has shut down the Hub.
“The Hub” was designed by Wal-Mart to allow teens to “express their individuality” but it screened all the content, informed parents when their children joined and forbade users to e-mail one another.
In August, the site attracted 91,000 unique visitors, according to ComScore Networks. Social-networking giant MySpace.com garnered 55.8 million unique visitors the same month.

Hence, “quasi” is the key word here. If you’re going to go social, then be prepared to go all the way. Part way isn’t going to cut it, as Wal-Mart now knows.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.