Virb is the latest social networking site, and it’s making quite a stir amongst the geekier parts of the Internet. Combining Web 2.0 coolness with all the features you could want from a social networking site all into one, easy to use package, Virb is more than Myspace could ever hope to be.
The first thing you notice when visiting Virb is the design and layout. It’s a work of art in itself, and once you sign up the profiles don’t disappoint. Virb is very customizable, much more than any other social networking site before it. It gives you complete access to not only the stylesheet, but allows you to edit the html template for your profile — this gives you almost infinite control of how your profile will look. But, if you know nothing about web design, no worries! Virb provides a cool ajaxified interface for customizing profiles. You can choose colors, drag content around in real time (think Google personalized homepage), and add your own html blocks anywhere. Virb’s design is extremely easy to customize, not to mention it looks amazing by default. In fact, everything about Virb has a slick feel to it: the design, the interface, etc. This is in sharp contrast to the ugly Myspace profile/site design.
Virb also allows you to put a music player on your profile that plays the top three songs in your playlist (thankfully it doesn’t play automatically), and in addition to adding youtube videos you can upload your own videos directly to Virb to put on your profile. You can organize things on your profile in real time with drag and drop (pick up and move songs around in your playlist, etc), and you can even have Virb automatically track the songs you play in iTunes.
One of the most defining features of Virb isn’t its technology, however; it’s the community. Up until recently, Virb was invite only, leading to a very exclusive community. Even now, the number of signups per day is limited. The community contains many very good web designers and artists, leading to some nice eye candy in terms of profiles. Due to it’s young age, there aren’t many prominent blogs run on Virb yet, but it has the functionality needed to be a very solid blogging platform. It also has a very strong music community, with bands such as Modest Mouse and The Decemberists joining very early in Virb’s history. This small community worked with Virb to hunt down bugs and improve features, and this continued now (Virb is still in beta). The number of features implemented so far is very impressive (just about anything Myspace can do, Virb can do), but not as impressive as what they’re still working on (import blog posts from RSS, saving multiple layouts, expanded group functionality), and given Virb’s track record we can be fairly sure they intend to follow through on their promises.
Virb is set to take the social networking scene by storm, and if it can make it out of beta and build up a strong community it could very well beat out the big players like Myspace. Now that the signups are open to anyone, it’s well worth it to sign up and try.