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How Hi5 Works

Benefits of Hi5
Hi5 focuses on providing a lot of entertainment for its members. You can choose from dozens of online or downloadable games.
Hi5 focuses on providing a lot of entertainment for its members. You can choose from dozens of online or downloadable games.
Screenshot by Nathan Chandler

Though Hi5 is a lot like other social networking sites, it does offer its own blend of features and benefits. The most powerful features of Hi5 are those that help you reconnect with old friends and classmates, meet new acquaintances around the world, and choose from a vast selection of entertainment options.

Hi5 also provides status updates for all of your friends so they know what you're up to. In your profile, type a few words in the What Are You Doing Now? text box to let others know how your day is going. By browsing your friends' profiles, you can see at a glance what they're doing, too.

Hi5 harnesses the worldwide reach of the Web to help you find brand-new friends, a task that not all social sites stress. Whether you're looking for an online pen pal or searching for a mate, Hi5 provides many tools for socializing. The Flirt feature lets you quickly browse through dozens of potential dating partners in a specific age range and geographical area. If you're interested, simply click Yes, and that member will receive a notification from you. If that member likes your Flirt request, Hi5 adds them to your friends list.

You can make your Flirt requests or other messages more exciting for recipients by attaching gifts. Hi5 gifts are basically clip-art icons of everything from roses to kittens that you can send to all of your friends. However, unlike most of the site's features, gifts aren't free. You need Hi5 coins in order to buy and send gifts. You can earn those coins by completing marketing surveys or by buying them outright with a credit card.

In addition to socializing capabilities, the site offers fun applications and games. Applications help you with everything from dating and gaming to creating online classifieds. They'll also let you add music to your profile or make video greetings. Popular apps include RockYou Pets, which lets you raise a pet of your choice, and TopFriends, which makes it easier to track your best friends through your own member profile.

If its games you're after, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better selection than Hi5's; you can play free online games or download titles costing up to around $50. Free game trials are common, so you can often try before you buy. There are more than 20 game categories, such as sports, role-playing, casino, strategy and puzzle, to keep you occupied for a very long time.