10 things you need to know about Google Lively

1. Google Lively is browser-based

Lively is accessed via a downloadable plug-in and then runs in the browser. It’s currently PC only with plans for a Mac version soon.

2. It’s a lot like IMVU

The virtual environment is consisted of rooms (max 20 people per room) with a supportingcatalogueof related accessories for avatars and furnishings, similar to IMVU. Interestingly, Google’s Head of 3D Operations (Mel Guymon) was actually the fifth co-founder of IMVU and then left to join Google.

3. You can embed rooms into webpages

Which is a nice feature and starting to be a feature in other worlds. This importantly is a key bridge into social networks.

4. It’s free (for now)

There’s no in-world economy and currently everything is free. Google is yet to announce the business model for Lively, but expect virtual item purchase at some point.

5. Content creation is limited

Users can’t create or add virtual objects into Lively. Instead, there’s a library (catelogue) of items built by Google and a team of contractors. Users can create their own rooms though.

6. Brands are allowed

Third-party brand spaces are allowed and National Geographic is one of the first heading in. Let’s hope developers don’t make the same mistakes they made in Second Life with branded desert islands.

7. Social networks are integrated

Lively offers integration into MySpace, Facebook and OpenSocial as well as with Google gadgets such as YouTube and Picasa.

8. It’s a 13+

Lively users have to be 13 or over. This places Lively into this category. I think the average age sweet-spot will be 17, judging by the graphical treatment of avatar appearance.

9. Casual gaming is built-in

No surprises here. Casual gaming is at the heart of KT&T virtual worlds. Expect this feature to be popular (and a smart-play) for real-world brands.

10. There’s already a Sex island and room

‘Cos that’s what happens when you allow people to create their own rooms.

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