We're a little behind, but we have good news . . .
26 Oct 2010 - 10:36
Yeah, so we're later than we had hoped with v4.1. No, it has not, yet, launched. However, we're very close to done.
Most of the new features have been finished and tested. This update includes a few minor UI updates, a few new features (profile links, user journals, the Invite A Friend system (with Account Point rewards), and RSS/Twitter feeds for upper-level accounts (soon to be purchasable features through Account Points for lower-level accounts), and a *lot* of back-end updates in preparation for some very major changes coming down the line.
First of all, we have a lot of plans for new features. What kinds of features? Well, without going into major details, I can let you know that Side 7 development has taken a number of tips from both the social media world and the massively-multiplayer online gaming world. Essentially, we're looking at how other majorly successful sites and communities work, and we're pulling things from their playbooks. For example, users being rewarded for participation in more tangible ways.
Additionally, our account structure will be changing in the future. We'll still have One-Star (free, limited features), Three-Star (free, less limited, obtainable through Account Points), and Five-Star accounts (pay, unlimited access to features). However, many of the features available for Three- and Five-Star accounts will soon be available for permanent access through the use of Account Points. For example, Five-Star accounts currently are the only accounts that can make use of upcoming Gallery Backup System (which will allow users to download a backup of all comments, uploads, images, etc. in their account in a zip file). This feature could be activated for a lower-level account if the user has enough Account Credits to "purchase" it. This would forever open the feature for the account.
Think of it as unlocking extras in a game.
So, what's the use of a 5-Star account then? Well, how about instant access to all features immediately? Immediate access to unlimited uploads. Oh, and there's still the exclusive activities for 5-Star account holders.
And, as an FYI, we're looking into adjusting the Account Point rewards system to re-balance it. You have voiced your opinions on the Account Point payouts, and we're listening. Expect changes there, soon, as well.