Their website launched in 2007, originally a concept dating network built around the premise of 'auctions' where suitors (dudes) could use special points to bid for their desired partners (chicks). How ostensibly mid-noughties... It was also equipped with a messaging and anonymous calling service and most of the usual features you'd expect from a social network, not unlike some other Myspace/Facebook wannabes of that era.
A curious project at the time, perhaps, but nothing too amazing. As the invite-only service wasn't shaping up to be a giant success from the get go, the owners would work on a strategy to make it moreso.
In late 2007, a large update was launched, adding numerous features such as a news column, a rich, overhauled chat and comment system, increased customization and privacy controls; all packed in a new UI that looks fairly impressive to this day. Thus, an interesting aesthetic style that the website's many iterations stuck to was established.
But what i'minlikewithyou would truly become a widespread phenomenon for, was yet to surface.
As the now-public website's popularity slowly grew, its target demographic was shaping up to be young adults and teenagers of the (then) new 'Facebook era'. The update, which introduced a seamless Flash experience, had laid groundwork for the next big thing to reel them in... Games. Eventually, their in-house-developed titles such as Draw My Thing, Jigsawce, Balloono or Dinglepop brought hundreds of thousands of weekly players to iminlikewithyou. The dating/auction functionality's importance gradually waned in favour of the socializing/casual gaming aspect of the experience. With the addition of leaderboards, items, microtransactions and numerous social features alongside the games, iilwy became the perfect environment to drown hours in for (mostly) young people around the globe.
This led to iilwy transitioning into a full-time casual multiplayer Flash game studio in order to keep adding new exciting titles to their roster.
But with the new focus set far away from flirting, the startup's unwieldy name became something of a baggage for i'minlikewithyou. With the election of a new CEO came a new name, one that may be more familiar to most nowadays:
which proved to be both easier to type and popular with the kids, apparently - further fueling the website's growth.
Screenshots from Hover Kart Racing and Draw My Thing, my favourite games on OMGPOP :D
For me, circa 2011-2013, OMGPOP was one of the best places to hang out for hundreds of hours with my friends from Sploder, playing Hover Kart Racing or Hover Kart Battle and Draw My Thing, all while talking on Tinychat.
In 2012 Draw My Thing was rehauled and made into a standalone app, rechristened "Draw Something". The game quickly became OMGPOP's biggest hit to date with tens of millions of downloads and attracted new, tempting business offers...
As you may expect, it's also where the trouble began.
Zynga bought out OMGPOP at the height of its success, but constant clashes between the parent company and OMGPOP's staff, Zynga's own financial troubles and dissatisfaction with OMGPOP's ad-less, microtransaction-fueled business model's low profit margins led to the website being permanently shut down in June 2013, no more than a year after the acquisition. Not only that, but, disgustingly, the news of the shut down were only passed on to the employees through social media...
An attempt was made by ex-employees to buy back the company from Zynga following their own bankruptcy, unsuccesfully. Further efforts to revive the site would later be made by fans (and perhaps ex-employees?) more than once, the latest one being a clone called MOBCPOP; An admirable and inspiring effort, albeit lacking many of the original games and most functionality.
OMGPOP had the best live casual multiplayer UI and social infrastructure I've seen to date and its loss is symptomatic of this sad downgrade of online life we've all been subjected to since the optimistic times of Web 2.0; Can we really never get anything nearly as good again...? Or is this just my nostalgia talkin'?
I decided to let go of the eye-straining magenta in favour of a mostly turquoise design :) Also introduced some other fixes to the style to make it a little tidier. For now the new theme is only on the mainpage but the other pages will follow soon.
Here's the old version for comparison. Hope it's at least a little better now.
How I ALMOST DIED Top 10 CRAZIEST Stories NO CLICKBAIT
Nah, but anyway... Some moderately neat things have happened recently and I can't help being an oversharer so I thought hey, why not write a proper blog post (or more like... journal entry?) for once.
But first, I wouldn't be myself if I wouldn't whine a little. Last week was tough, both for personal reasons I wouldn't wanna discuss further anymore and because it was a non-stop hellish onslaught of uni assignments and group projects; I was just so exhausted from those goddamn 5 hr long crunch time discord calls as our underrested and overburdened teams rushed to submit our papers/presentations before their deadlines that I was secretly longing for a time when I can just finally shut everyone out and lie down and stop talking; it's not that I don't like those people, they're good friends, but... eh, y'know, I guess sometimes spending way more time than you'd like to talking to anyone can unintentionally make you grow tired of em. Or at least I feel that way; it's always good to just simmer down after a round of socializing every now and then and have some alone time... Hopefully not in front of a computer screen either.
Buuut the weekend brought a silver lining, as we finally had our first snowfall this year :D It was pretty brief but surprisingly heavy! Temperatures stayed sub-zero (Celsius, USA) for the rest of the day too, so it stayed at least until the next afternoon. The feeling and the sound of thick snow creaking under your boots as you walk is one of the few redeeming qualities of living on this wretched earth and I await it every year, crossing my fingers that we'll finally have a white Christmas too, to put an end to the lame rainy and/or cloudy streak of the last couple of years :)
However, as the snow melted away and it got a little warmer, I decided now was the perfect time to finally leave my dank cave and go for a little morning run after an extended hiatus. I'm the absolute opposite of a mornings person lol but I gotta say that there's nothing that wakes you up and energizes you better than a morning run (orr at least legally and without a prescription). So I dressed a little warmer than usual for my run and started jogging, listening to music through earbuds. It was already well past sunrise but you could still see a bit of an afterglow in the sky which was really pretty.
So how did ol' lady Fortune reward me for finally building up the resolve to move my bony ass from the couch, you may wonder. Or not. Probably not, but I can't shut up about it anyway. Well, as soon as I ran out of my neighbourhood and into a little bit more of a rural area, I saw 2 big dogs roaming the street freely for some reason. "Well, shit. I hope they don't come trotting and growling at me", I thought, exactly 1 second before they started trotting towards me and growling threateningly. A proud-looking German Shepherd and a good ol' friendly Mutt, both perfect height to take my balls as a trophy in one clean bite. My heart was beating like crazy. I quickly turned the music off to listen in on any audible cues as to what they're gonna do, pressing a button on my earbuds; and it seemed like the sudden movement of my hand agitated them more. I slowed down to a near halt and didn't really know what to do, as they started circling me slowly like some goddamn wolfpack closing in on weak prey. The Shepherd barked at me while the Mutt bared his teeth. I was looking at the ground as hard as hard one can look at the ground since I remembered hearing somewhere that you shouldn't ever look a stray dog in the eyes (at least not for too long) as they instinctively take it as a threat/challenge. Then, the most anxiety-inducing thing: the Shepherd grabbed the glove on my hand with his teeth. Luckily, it appeared to only be the probing or even playful kind of a soft bite that even well-behaved dogs may do every once in a while.
In the blink of an eye, I could already imagine an upcoming article on my local news website about a freak accident where a young man got mauled by 2 feral hounds. Buut I guess it wasn't my time to shine in the spotlight yet. I pulled my hand away from the Shep as quickly as I could and shouted HEY at the top of my lungs. This could have gone 2 ways, either freeze them in shock or make them turn way more agressive; once again luckily it was the former. They paused for a moment wondering what's going on and I took the opportunity to back away slowly, still avoiding their gazes. Once again, they were growling and staring at me, as if they were preparing to make a jump for me again. Eventually after what seemed like a few minutes but was probably like 10 seconds, I got to the 'eh, screw it' distance where they just turned away and went on to pursue more pushing business than ripping my Adam's apple out.
So, since I had no idea what I was doing... I either panicked too much at what was just some stray dogs tryna play with me OR I was really lucky. Either way, I haven't been running again since then due to laziness that I try to justify with minor mental trauma caused by the whole ordeal; Buut enough about 'em dogs since this is already shaping up to be a wall (if not a tower) of text. On an unrelated note... Santa came early and I finally got a real chair to sit at my desk on for the first time in my life :D It may not seem like that fun of a gift... a goddamn chair... but hell, I'm more excited about it than anything I got in the last couple of years. My spine and butt are especially thankful, cuz I've been sitting on a hard ass wooden dining room chair that was starting to fall apart up to this point.
To whoever's reading this - I hope this post finds your quarantined butt and spine in an equally comfortable position as mine while I'm writing it and I wish you a pleasant whatever-time-of-day-it-is-there and a reasonably snowy winter or reasonably sunny summer :) Ain't nothing better to wish for than a stable climate nowadays, eh...
PS - oh, and if you're a dog owner... watch em, will ya? especially if they're like a meter tall