Playboy to Launch College Social Networking Site

To compensate for declining readership and profits, Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises Inc. is heading back to school to boost the bottom line in one of its biggest expansion efforts in years. Riding a wave of renewed popularity among consumers around the globe, Hugh Hefner's Playboy empire is set to launch a sexy social networking site dedicated solely to college students, its latest online venture as it tries to reinvigorate its stagnant finances. The site, currently in beta, is called Playboy U and has similar features to those found on Facebook. "This is one brand that is relevant to 18 through 81-year-olds," said Scott Stephen, executive vice president of operations for Playboy's entertainment division. "We're looking at this as a way to introduce and escort someone through their adult life."

"It's a very lucrative market," said Michael Kelman, senior media analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group. "The college kids, they're going to be better-educated and have higher disposable incomes. (But) it's been a very, very tough audience to grab." Although Playboy U bars nudity, the site leaves little to the imagination with pictures from the mansion's "Midsummer Night's Dream" party and message topics such as "What Do You Think About Penis Enlargement" and "How Many People Have You Slept With? To Lie or Not to Lie." The site has instituted a college-only policy, which bars anyone without an e-mail address ending in .edu from joining; additionally Playboy U says it will boot any university faculty, staff or alumni or other non-students that it discovers on the site. "Your little brother can't get in. Your little sister can't get in. Nor can your mother and father," Stephen said.

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One other thing. What about those students that are in college, but don't have an email address that the school provides for them? I guess those people would be SOL then...

That's exactly what I said. It's all retarded really.

I think they're just trying to make it sound exclusive or something, as if THAT will make us want to join. Sounds to me they watched that South Park episode where Cartman gets his own theme park and thought it'd actually work.

So what happens to current members who graduate? "Up nope! Sorry, you shouldn't have graduated. Screw off." ? Or did they somehow think people would go to college their whole life? Also, how does that interest anyone? Things like Myspace and Facebook allow you to connect with people, old/long distance friends, etc. How are you supposed to do any of that if it's college only?

That said, I go to the San Jacinto community college here in Houston. Though, I guess that would exclude me since I'm without an @blah.edu email?

Truly bogus if you ask me. Not that I want to be apart of it; I just don't think they're going to get anywhere with that kind of strict targeting.

Agreed, why waste time on this if you'd be shut out from it after just a few years? :s

The purpose of a social networking site isn't just to communicate, it is to foster and maintain relationships.