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2/28/2007
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eSnips Expands Free Storage, Music Monetization Tools

The rival to MySpace and FaceBook differentiates itself with a focus on niche communities rather than generic personal pages.

Social networking site eSnips plans on Thursday to debut several new user-generated music communities and music-oriented widgets, and to expand the storage space it offers its users from 1GB to 5GB.

eSnips is a social network oriented toward adults (not to be confused with "adult-oriented"). It's free, of course. Unlike MySpace and FaceBook, eSnips is targeted at 20-year-olds and up. It focuses on niche communities rather than generic personal pages and boasts 1.5 million registered users.

While that's a far cry from the 100 million-plus users claimed by MySpace -- a number some claim is inflated by more than 50% -- eSnips CEO Yael Elish says that her site's audience generates better advertising rates.

As befits its more mature audience, eSnips also include e-commerce tools so users can sell digital content. At the moment, the site uses PayPal for transactions, but Elish says that's likely to change in the future as the site moves to share e-commerce revenue with whatever company ends up handling the transactions.

Independent musicians may find eSnips particularly appealing because it allows them create customized music-playing widgets that can be embedded in any Web site to promote and sell their songs.

eSnips is divided into specific vertical communities, including Karaoke, DJs, Photography, Painting, Video, Spiritual, Poetry, Humor, Paranormal, and Marketplace, to name a few.

"This is a way of addressing the 'Long Tail' in terms of providing users with their own portals," says Elish.

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