hi5: Thinking Outside the Browser Box with Social Games

hi5: Thinking Outside the Browser Box with Social Games

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We have previously looked at shopping and news sites that are taking advantage of IE9’s focus on putting sites at the center. Today we’ll look at one of the fastest growing areas of the Internet: social networking and social gaming.

hi5 is a social entertainment destination site that provides millions of users worldwide with engaging content designed to ignite social play. Their focus is on delivering a fun, interactive, and immersive social entertainment experience online to audiences around the world. hi5 has 50 million monthly users worldwide in 50 languages.

hi5 redesigned their site and their social games with IE9 Pinned Site features to keep customers connected with friends and content at all times. Kate Pietrelli, Marketing Director at hi5 shares why it’s a game-changer for them:

hi5 in IE9

hi5 enabled social gaming experiences to occur outside the browser, where users spend the other half of their time. IE9 Pinned Site features gave them a presence in the entire PC:

hi5 Social – The hi5 branded Pinned Site experience is the launch portal for staying connected socially. A notification flashes when an important event happens (e.g. new friend request, invitation to join a game, or new gift from someone). The Jump List dynamically updates so users can see what they’re missing and dive right in.


In-Game Experience – The scenario extends beyond the social networking and into the games themselves. Now a user can pin their favorite game to their taskbar. The popular Millionaire City is all about becoming the richest real estate tycoon on the web, but you lose cash fast if you don’t return to the game frequently to maintain your investments. The pinned site experience notifies you when you need to collect rent, if your tenants are moving away, or if you have a new business partnership. It pulls you back into the action and helps you maximize your gaming time.


“With a few lines of JavaScript and Pinned Site APIs, we made hi5 and Millionaire City feel like native apps. It’s a great way to bring our users back into the game.” – John Szeder, Director, Developer Relations & Mobile, hi5

Social Gaming and the Modern Browser

hi5 saw the opportunity to extend social gaming beyond the browser. Their goals were to:

  • Pull users into the hi5 site directly through social events and updates
  • Give web-based games their own personalized experience
  • Make games more social by bringing the offline and online experiences together
  • Increase how much time a user spends in the game

Visit hi5 and See it in Action

Try hi5 and Millionaire City out today. Users are more connected and engaged with the hi5 social network and their favorite games. Learn more about how you can take advantage of Pinned Sites.

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  • @ Dwight Stegall - The beauty of Pinned Sites is that the browser fades away into the background and it's all about the site experience. Try it out and let us know what you think.

  • @James Manes - We really want feedback on specific issues with sites. If you have time, I hope you share this through "Send Feedback" tool or connect. Until it gets fixed, you can try IE8 compatibility mode.

  • @ Dwight Stegall

    You said "awful" to something that allows to realize a "marvelous idea". "Pinned site" is an exclusive feature of IE... did you know that?

  • Sounds like a marvelous idea. The only problem I see is it's optimized for that awful Internet Explorer. :(

  • Twitter rounded corners and drop shadows are still broken in IE 9. Facebook chat still glitchy in IE 9. YouTube profile pages still have issues.