The Habbo social network revolves around the Habbo Hotel. Full of clubs, restaurants, a pool and millions of rooms, teens meet up with each other every day to socialize and play games. Encouraged to create rooms geared toward their own interests, the Habbo user base has created over 60 million rooms in the hotel [source: Habbo].
Before you can join a room and begin socializing, though, you must create your own Habbo character. Using avatars in a virtual world is nothing new. However, Habbo credits some of its success to the site's visual appeal. Habbo's retro look and simple, pixelated characters and surroundings may not be as visually impressive as some other online communities, but its being vintage keeps it from aging [source: Sinclair].
Creating a character on Habbo is easy. Users choose from a set of characteristics like gender, skin tone, hairstyle and clothes to build an avatar, and there are countless combinations to make. When users log on to Habbo, they find themselves on a personalized homepage that contains news, alerts and advertisements. Any messages from other Habbo users will show up on this page as well. From the homepage, users can also begin building their custom character homepage -- called, descriptively enough, "My Page." On My Page, users can display game scores, highlight their rooms and install widgets like guest books or friend lists.
All the action on Habbo happens in the hotel, in Habbo- and user-generated rooms. Habbo rooms are themed, and those themes run the gamut. Social networks like Habbo help people with similar interests find each other. Hence, users might visit a room dedicated to their high school or a favorite club. There's a user-built hospital where characters can receive x-rays and talk about their medical conditions with characters playing hospital employees (who get paid in Habbo coins). Some users set up rooms in a maze format and turn the entire room into a game. Users can pamper themselves at a Seventeen Magazine-sponsored beauty salon or go dancing at one of dozens of public and private clubs. There's even a wedding chapel for those interested in the institution of marriage.