Start-up company Vivaty of Menlo Park, California, is creating a hybrid of conventional social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and virtual worlds like Second Life. Rather than filling a web page with photos, a list of hobbies and their favourite software applications, as users of Facebook do today, Vivaty users will get access to a virtual room. They can adorn the walls with photos, watch a virtual television that plays YouTube or invite friends over to join them.
Instead of chatting by sending each other messages, Vivaty users will be able to speak "in person" via 3D avatars. Vivaty will be offered to Facebook users this year.