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How Zwinky Works

        Tech | Social Networks

Using Zwinky
Zwinky members actually download a toolbar application to run the service.
Zwinky members actually download a toolbar application to run the service.
Ron Levine/Getty Images

To start off on Zwinky, users will need to download a small installation program onto their computers. This may be a slightly unfamiliar approach for members of other social networking sites -- most simply request that you create a username and password and fill in some personal information, including e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Zwinky, however, requires you to download a Zwinky icon onto your Web browser, which users click on to access the program's interface.

When you've successfully installed the Zwinky program and opened up the program window, it's time to customize your Zwinky character. Every Zwinky has a personal wardrobe, which users can access by clicking on the "Open Wardrobe" button near the bottom of the screen. You can manipulate a Zwinky's appearance to make it look however you want, and users choose traits including gender, skin tone, hair style and color, and more.

Zwinky avatars can move around their own virtual universe, and the main purpose of the site is for users to interact with other Zwinkies, play games and purchase digital goods. To move a Zwinky from one place to the next in a specific area, members simply use the mouse to point and click. You can make new friends or see a list of the ones you already have by clicking on the "View/Add Friends" button at the bottom of the interface. This button allows you to either send an e-mail to a fellow Zwinky requesting friendship or to see where in Zwinky's world your friends are. If a friend is online, clicking on your friend can bring you straight to him or her, call up that person's profile or let you send that person a Znote.

Of course, if another Zwinky bothers you or makes you uncomfortable, you have the option of blocking him or her from chatting with you. By clicking on that person's avatar and selecting "Block," that Zwinky will no longer be able to communicate with you or see your profile.


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