rethinkHABBO | Volume 1

Page 1


t h i n k i n g

volume 1



Looking at the social half, development almost seems nonexistent. Aside from the recent attempts to integrate social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Tools must be implemented to specifically help build the community. Games are a big part of habbo, however they are not the only stakeholder. Teen’s interests are as vast as the internet can reach. Users come to play games, design, roleplay, chat, the list could go on and on. Therefore these social tools must be generic enough to reach such a wide range of interests. Groups are a great social tool to connect like-minded users, attention should be given to help groups expand. Habbo Homes allows users to create their own profile page, yet the page could offer much more in terms of user interaction. With tweaking


or the past 12 years Habbo fused together two things for users, gaming and socialization, all on an easily accessible platform. Teens come for the fun of playing a game but become immersed in a virtual social world of their own. New opportunities arise to meet friends and gain interests users may have never had if it weren’t for the virtual space of Habbo. In a world where technology is changing every day, Habbo must make a stand to grow with this change. This means looking at what can be changed within the network of Habbo to reflect current trends, and then connecting outside of the network to even further strengthen the community. While efforts have been made to “change with the times” by connecting via twitter and facebook, it seems the community got left behind. Refocusing the attention on user generated content from within the Habbo website will allow for growth within the existing community. GAME VS SOCIAL Development on the gaming side of Habbo over the years has been incredible. Users can now easily create a variety of Habbo games in their rooms with the ability to even create their own made-up games. Therefore the number of games the hotel is able to hold significantly increased. And with the introduction of games on mobile platforms such as Niko & Lost Monkey, the future of Habbo games seems endless.

made to current Habbo tools, the introduction of several new ones, a clean interface/website, and a community built around interactions made in-client to web (eventually mobile...) Habbo can strongly lead the way in the world of teen social networks. Can anyone say 5 Star Hotel? All Habbo users are encouraged to participate and give input. More volumes of Rethinking HABBO will be released with edits and improvements fueled from all the Habbos out there! Get Connected:

SAFETY CHECK / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Habbo Stats

Keep in mind...



Global Unique Users


million Users

13 - 16

Core Users Age



Registered Accounts

With the recent investigation broadcast by Channel 4, the concern for safety among Habbo users has been at an all time high. While many of the comments made by Channel 4 lack in full truth it is apparent Habbo must take time to rethink suitable safety procedures and tools. Overall Habbo must better

project their image while maintaining the safety of it’s users. This can not be done without the participation of Habbo voices, the ones who experience this environment on the regular. Throughout this presentation safety boxes will appear presenting ideas for new tools or rules that can be set in place

to improve the safety of Habbo. Threats will always be there and we must work together to build a strong community who use the system correctly, with safety always kept in mind. At the end you will find more information on some other safety & help ideas not addressed in Safety Checks.


LOGIN PAGE he login page should attract new users by providing them with some information about Habbo, while keeping existing users interested. This can be done by featuring hot rooms, pictures from the hotel, current competitions/sponsorships, and even featuring habbos. All through the reinforcement of a “like system” that features popular content.


HABBO TUTORIAL After registering, Habbos are sent to a beginners tutorial located in-client. This acts as a deeper introduction to the hotel and how things work. Development and hints of something along these line are in the works as seen posted on @ediootti’s twitter account. (far right) The first picture’s posted look promising for the future of Habbo eduction. This tutorial should not be accessible to those who have already completed it. This seclusion allows for a total focus on the task at hand. One exception would possibly be Habbo



Helpers, who if summoned by a new player could follow them and then help with a part of the tutorial they’re having trouble with. The tutorial should cover every aspect of Habbo. Topics such as: Safety & Help, In-Client User Interface, Games, Navigation, Web to Client interaction, Friends, Furni, Trading, etc... Clearly a lot of topics must be included to fully understand Habbo. However when divided into smaller, controlled bits of information users can conquer a topic and progress forward. The way this information is received is also important. Here are some ideas for different ways of engaging new users in the tutorial: • Quizzes • Simulated situations using bots • Short videos • Easy to follow story line

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When registering users must accept Terms of Service AND the Habbo Way, which should be presented utilizing visuals and simple text. Users have to know what is/isn’t aloud on Habbo

from the very start. Introducing it early on will help instate a greater awareness for safety. New users along with current users must fully understand what is acceptable behavior for Habbo.





HOMEPAGE LAYOUT DIVISION OF 5 hen looking at the Homepage, it can be divided into five main sections. The idea is to keep simplicity while introducing a larger way to connect and customize user’s virtual community. (1) USER HUB The entire top blue portion of the website caters fully to the user. From here Habbos can access all the tools that connect them in-client and to the community; including things such as motto, friends, groups, likes, login history, messages/minimail, games, habbo stream, and the menu bar which provides access to many other pages/tools on the site. Users are


alerted when they receive a mini mail or “important” stream news if they are logged off the client, this is displayed by a number on top of each icon. The game icon brings users to a page that displays current games, as well as a list of games that Habbo offers and how to play them. Everything from user made games to mobile games. Entrance to the Hotel is located at the top left for easy access. This top portion also allows for the possibility of background changes during events or holidays, engaging the community even further. (2) NEWS BANNER A large news banner, much like the current one, with four slots for

5. ADS

news/content which can be partially user controlled; slots: 1. Hotel News 2. User selected topic/group 3. Hotel/ Game Ad 4. User selected topic/group (3) CUSTOM WIDGET The third, a user controlled six slot widget area that allows Habbos to display whatever they enjoy - groups, rooms, events, photos, hotel news, group news, online friends, top 5 friends... etc. Hover over an item to get more information about it. Using a hover feature allows the homepage maintain a clean look and still provide users with maximum functionality. (4) SOCIAL MEDIA The fourth, the Habbo twitter box. The introduction of social media

HOMEPAGE cont. Site Map HOME [ID] 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Home My Page My Blog My Talent Account Settings


to Habbo is still a new and growing concept, keeping the box on the homepage will help continue that growth. (5) ADVERTISING The fifth, all of the advertising content whether it be sponsored or Habbo ads. This restructured homepage really allows for optimum use. Currently users don’t receive much of anything when they login to the homepage. Users need to be able to utilize the homepage to navigate their virtual world with ease. Users can edit their homepages under their account settings.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Community Forums Articles Groups Blogs Social Media Fansites


1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Safety Habbo Helpers Habbo Way Parents Guide Report Abuse


1. 2. 3. 4.

Credits Credit Sub. Earn Credits Pixels Currency

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Introducing a new level of customizing to users allows for the possibility of parental controls. Habbos under a certain age would be asked to provide a parents email. This would grant the parent access to their child’s account. In the same way users can choose what content they see on their homepage, parents

choose what topics they don’t want their children discussing, reaching not only the website but in-client. In a sense this could be a filter system that associates a topic/title with a group of words. Parents decide what they don’t what their child to see or talk about. If they want to add words to a certain topic they blocked, the list

of words can be edited. Using age restrictions in-client present problems because users grow up under different households/ parents/countries which all include a multitude of diverse morals and values. First, it is not Habbo’s responsibility to protect a user’s morals or manners,


but their safety. Habbo can not guarantee that each individual is being guarded from whatever they or their parents do not want them to talk about. However Habbo can provide tools to help parents and users be proactive in preventing discussion they do not want to see.



urrently Habbo Homes offer a lot of versatility for Habbos to create whatever type of page they’d like, which is great. Changing them drastically would take away that creativity, therefore they must be enhanced with new widgets. Examle: favorites widget, compiles all fav’d things throughout site. Other users can explore your favorites and add them to their list. The name “Habbo Homes” may also be confusing when trying to distinguish between inclient homes and their home on the website. Renaming it to something more relatable, like “My Page” would get rid of any confusion.

Express yourself


llow Habbos to post on a simple blog - photo, text, or a combination of both. Blogs can be controlled through a widget placed on Habbo Homes/ My Page. This is another outlet for users who want to separate their group

from more personal habbo things. Habbos assume a virtual identity when they register for the site. To aid in keeping this virtual identity there should be a place for them to document that does not invade their personal identity.




Group Content - groups would be given a new function that allows them to post content/articles about their group. Admins decide what member rank is aloud to submit articles and then what member ranks moderates those submissions. Habbo Talents - Users that have reached a certain rank in their talent are aloud to post content/articles pertaining to their talent. Example; Habbo Helper - “Level 10” posted a story focused around a habbo who recently got scammed.

level. Becoming a Habbo means assuming a virtual identity. When a user hasn’t logged on for a week it’s hard to catch up on what all has gone on in their group. If they are able to look at archives of posts, they can more easily connect with the community. Users need this space to connect, educate, and enjoy the game together all in a secure place.


system that allows users to create content based on topics they like and talk about in Habbo. A reintroduction of a content system is what the community needs. By focusing on user-generated content, the Habbo community can begin buzzing with updates from groups, talents, and blogs. Attention will be less focused on the staff being pushed to generate content. The emphasis will be put on users to make competitions, articles, photos, and content that will get the community going. This frees up staff members and allows them to refocus their attention on maintaining other key features of Habbo. Habbo staff can help fuel the hype by recognizing outstanding content. Habbos can like, favorite, and rate content/ articles. Users decide what tools are used to interact with their content. If they don’t want people to rate their content, the feature can be disabled.

The following are two outlets for the content system:

Tags are used to distinguish what the article is about. A main topic will be selected from a menu, additional sub-topics can be typed in by the user. Another perk of the content system is the additional advertising space this would allow throughout the site. The idea behind the content/ article system isn’t to produce literary works but to serve as a way for the community to connect on a deeper

SAFETY CHECK / / / / / / / / / / / /

This content system should be moderated mainly through the new Habbo Helpers program. Helpers would have the ability to flag content violating Habbo policy. After a certain number of Habbo Helpers flag a specific

post, the content goes under review and is sent to a Moderator. Of course regular users can report the content like normal. Having Habbo Helpers flag content will help prioritize issues that need immediate attention.





any may be concerned that with this new content system Habbo fansites will get left in the dust. However these sites are crucial to the Habbo community and everything must be done to preserve them. Under this new content system official fansites have the chance to connect with the community like never before. Fansites who have been approved by Habbo can publish content from their website to Habbo under their official fansite group. On the content’s info box credit to the office fansite shall be given, including a link to that content on their site. Fansites are given a limited number of these posts a week. This is a win, win for Habbo and Fansites. Trusted fansites will be able to deliver content to Habbo users directly through Habbo’s website while still promoting their site. Those who may not want to visit outside links are given the opportunity to still access great content from which they can enjoy and learn from.


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The purpose of Habbo Talents is to help strengthen aspects of Habbo that users take interest or excel in. By allowing these higher ranked talents to share content and information, users are able to educate themselves. Specifically speaking about safety, the possibility for content is endless. Helpers can create articles, comics, interviews with victims of

scamming, deeper look at reasons for bans, new scamming alerts, general internet safety, ways to protect your identity, and that’s definitely not even a start to what could be created to inform users. The idea is that users learn from other users in an easy, shareable way. People also often complain about the amount of auto-response they receive when placing a Call for Help. Placing links to

useful user created content relating to the CFH topic can help users who may not have received the answer they were looking for. Links to content could also be placed in the messages that appear when someone is banned. Giving offenders suggestions for content to view can help educate them on what they did wrong and how to prevent being banned in the future.



knowledge and experience in that talent. Powers and duties can then be spread throughout those talent ranks. The talent possibilities are endless:

• • • • • • • •

Room Builders Traders Gamers Event Hosts Authors Social Media Gurus Fashion Gurus Roleplayers


he introduction of Habbo talents is another key building block of the community. So many users come for different aspects of the site and My Talents helps zone in on that specific interest. Habbo Helpers is only the first of many talents to be introduced, users must remember over time more will be introduced. As discussed earlier in the new content system, ranks should be utilized in the talent program to help distinguish those with a higher

SAFETY CHECK / / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Talk of creating a position of elite status in the Habbo Helper talent track is up in the air. These Guardians may have the power to kick offending users but the concern is then will all Guardians use their powers properly. And even so, this shares similarities to a program that failed in Habbo’s past, Hobbas. Being more selective on who earns the Guardian position is one solution. However the mold needs to be broken to progress forward. Tools need to be developed to aid

players without having to give immense power such as the right to kick. What if Habbo Helpers could see room rights holders whenever they entered a guest room? When they spot offenders and no one is currently in the room with rights, they can quickly alert the online room rights holders that an offender is in a room they hold rights in. Users that hold rights in other’s rooms want to help out and it would only take three clicks for them to get into that room and kick the offender.




Possible Camera Features: • Choose frame size, ability to move around on screen. • Allow filters to be purchased. • Develop a Photo Editor; users can load their photos into the editor on the website to do things such as: add text, crop, and add stickers. • Maybe in the future screen recording could be developed.


camera application that takes photos in-client and saves them to your photo album accessible through a widget located on My Page. These photos can then be posted throughout the Habbo community and on social media sites (for those that choose). Having a Camera application that shoots in-client photos & saves to the website is beneficial because this allows for a secure way to take and share photos throughout the site. Photography is a big interest of teens and growing every day - taking photos online is no different.

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The camera application could also help with moderation and banning. When a Habbo makes a claim or report, they can attach any photos from their photo album that may prove some innocence or help with the case. Habbo’s should

be encourage to document unsafe situations such as harassment, scamming, etc. Just as teens should be doing in their everyday life. This camera once again allows for a secure way for MODs/customer service to receive clean unaltered screen shots.



pon entering the community page on Habbo’s website, users should be welcomed with tools that help them easily engage with others. At the very top is the beginning threads of the Habbo Community Forums which includes around 10 different threads relating to a specific Habbo topic. These forums establish a place for users to become familiar with Habbo and ask any questions they may have. A lot of the time a user may have several questions but doesn’t have the time to stay online for a response. By being able to post in a forum answers can accumulate while a user is offline and next login they can continue with their habbo experience without waiting for a response. Below the forums is a section to display the content system. By clicking on these large rectangles, designed with a Habbo picture and topic label, links to popular content would be revealed. Double clicking on the button brings users to the actual topics page. Located on the right is a section for a set of small sidebars. These sidebars would provide users with short, easily read information about the community. Examples of community sidebars: • Top Blog Posts • Top Content/Articles • Top Users • Gaming leader boards • Top Photos • Top Groups



lot of habbos miss competitions such as Habbowood and Habboween. Typically these events included several individual competitions with in themselves lasting over an extended period of time. With a boost in usergenerated content throughout the site, it seems like a no brainer that Habbo competitions could be created and run by users. Previously staff would have to do a majority of

the grunt work for little participation from the community. Collaboration with users will make this process less painful and easier to maintain on a regular basis. Moving towards more user-generated content will also allow for a larger variety of competition types, giving more options for users to engage.




abbo groups help connect a large sum of like-minded users, expansions must be made on the function. While the new content system would be a step in the right direction, the homepage for groups should be redesigned. The function of the group page needs to be to provide more information about the group and keep members up to date on what’s going on. A rank system should be introduced, “group positions”. Administrators can change the rank of a member from Levels 1 - Level 7 (highest being Owner) Different levels give you different privileges - ie; being able to create content for the group. Admin/high level can accept/ decline articles, group owners would decide what position is appropriate for each role in their group.

Reinforcement of likes


ainly the way all of this user-generated content would surface and become shared around the community would be through likes, rating, and favorites. Users would only be allowed a certain number of likes a day - similar to 3 respects a day. Likes accumulated by the user

can be displayed on the home/profile page of that user. This brings up the whole topic of Habbo credibility. You are able to be respected in the hotel and rated on your profile page. Why not put all of these together... likes, ratings, respect to show a habbos true overall reputation.



he thought for the rest of the site is to keep it clean and simple like the homepage. Utilizing widgets to display all user focused content, that changes as the game goes on. With updates made to the website, the web store as well would need to be

updated. Widgets should constantly be updated and created: • My Favorites • My Photos • Award display • Reputation & Likes • Leader boards (for gaming groups)

Social MEDIA CONNECTING OUTSIDE HABBO The redesigned Group Pages would work something like this: Group Banner - groups are given a space to display a picture of their group decorated with stickers and all of the awesome page decorations available. Possibly even use the photo edior app to create this banner. 1. Home - act as a welcome page to the group, very similar to what group pages look like now 2. Forums - access to group forums 3. Content - archives of content posted by the group 4. Members - list of members displayed by rank


ocial networks are growing in number each year and don’t seem to be going away anytime soon. Habbo needs to address a plan on how to deal with connecting outside the hotel and the effects it has on users. Habbos are supposed

to be assuming a virtual identity yet when they connect via Facebook and Twitter they risk exposing personal information or pictures. A function should be developed to enable users to turn on and off outside social media.




uch thought has been given to Safety and Help throughout the past weeks, displayed through the great unmute website. The obvious thought is to improve Habbo filters and hire more moderators, easier said then done. Filters can be a tricky thing on a site like Habbo that encourages free expression among a broad age range. Efforts are currently being made by Sulake to improve their filter system and it seems to be headed in the right direction: “The site is visibly different, with users unable to talk until they have completed a safety quiz to demonstrate that they are aware of the security facilities in place and understand their own role in actively contributing to the safety of the site. Users now earn the right to speak more freely, meaning that they are rewarded for responsible behavior as part of our focus on driving a culture change across the community.”

a larger picture can be formed. Filters and moderation can only do so much, users must also be educated on what is acceptable in the hotel. This does not mean becoming a parental figure for users. This means a community working together to maintain a safe and fun place for teens to express themselves. The community has to remember that change and development take time. Proper planning and research must be carried throughout the changes to produce an end product fitting for the community. Habbo users should continue expressing their opinions in a constructive way. Let Sulake know what you think, it’s your community! By standing up for what you believe in, you can help shape the future.

What do you think?

- Paul LaFontaine, Sulake CEO

This culture change across the community is right along the lines of what Habbo needs. Before the Channel 4 investigation, Habbo had sufficient tools to allowing users to ignore any behavior they did not want to deal with. However it is apparent this is no longer working for Habbo’s large and growing population. With such a diverse user base, all angles must be looked at to create the optimum plan for the Habbo community as a whole. New tools and rules like the ones suggested in this presentation must be explored. Habbo voices must be listened to, by piecing them together

Stand up for your community. Once again, discussion about these new ideas and tools is strongly encouraged. Please leave your comments and thoughts:


t h i n k i n g