Keeping things clean meant not letting it become just another place for porn (which, of course, immediately became its biggest ongoing problem)
Most interesting, though, was the goal of realness https://datingranking.net/tr/minichat-inceleme/ – arguably a precursor to what remains the most sought after social currency of “authenticity” on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter. Like social media authenticity now, though, HOTorNOTs “realness” still meant literal models with high-production photos tended to top the hottest score charts above everyday people.
Like much of the early web, HOTorNOT contributed small innovations so rudimentary we take them completely for granted. For example, before it, users always had to click “submit” before any sort of vote or action would be registered by an HTML site. But in service of making the ratings game of HOTorNOT as fast-paced and addictive as possible, Young got rid of that extra step.
“The ‘OG Instagrammers first cut their teeth on HOTorNOT, optimizing angles, using sepia tones, posing with puppies as their profile pic to optimize their ratings,” said Kun Gao, one of HOTorNOTs earliest employees who was part of the group that eventually splintered off to found their own wildly successful anime streaming website, Crunchyroll.
Actually, Hong eventually launched a proto-Instagram himself called Yafro, a social network photo-sharing site. But he shut it down prematurely after hearing rumors that the Bush administration would soon crack down on illegal images spread through web platforms.
While they didnt originate it, HOTorNOT popularized the Korean innovation of virtual goods bought with IRL money in the West. (más…)