Habbo Hotel’s History – How Sampo Karjalainen and Aapo Kyrola Founded The Site

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Habbo Hotel

In the early years of the decade online multiplayer social games were in fashion. Many sites were made, providing opportunity for children, teenagers and adults to freely communicate with each other through the given interface. Penguins, bears and rabbits, various other animals and tiny human-like figurines became known as ‘avatars’ and were available for personalization by the users. This is a whole virtual world, were your avatar lives the life you would like. You can do many of the real life’s activities there, but the main reason people go to this site, is to meet other avatars (people) in this virtual environment. Welcome to the  private universe of Habbo ( www.habbo.com ), formerly known as Habbo Hotel.


How Habbo Was Started

Habbo.com - Habbo Hotel

Habbo.com – Habbo Hotel

The online enterprise was started up in 1999 as a small hobby-project called Mobiles Disco by Finnish designer Sampo Karjalainen and his friend Aapo Kyrola. Within just a year, though, the project developed into something much bigger – Hotel Kultakala (Hotel Goldfish) which would soon transform into what we all know as Habbo. Dee Edwards, an investor from Great Britain, hired Karjalainen to make a unique platform with graphic interface – a portal that was to become internationally successful. This project was financed with venture capital, collected from various sources. In 2001, the beta version of Habbo Hotel is launched from the head quarter located in London, UK and just a few weeks after the launch, the final version was released. After the UK release 31 others followed. Starting from Switzerland and the four languages there, continuing to Italy, Sweden and the United States, Habbo Hotel was taking over the world.

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Habbo Hotel

Habbo Hotel

This success, though, went too far and began getting out of control. In 2006 the Chinese branch of the website was to be canceled due to the fact that it was financially unreasonable to keep it. After this, the Chinese nation was reluctant to use the other-language portals. At the same time, the HabboHotel.com website was transferred to a new domain – Habbo.com. All the other extensions followed too, making Habbo.co.uk instead of Habbohotel.co.uk and so on. The exception of the Chinese lands, though, brings other issues – less usability and popularity. In 2008 the problems continue with another shrinking of the media. As a result of the low numbers of Russian citizens within the hotel, Habbo Russia also closed down. Following suit, in 2010, all English-language parts of the social network were merged, making Habbo.com the only one where people are able to speak through their avatars in English.

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