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Redundancies at social portal hi5

Alex St. John reveals "significant" staff reductions in transition to new site

Social games portal hi5 has "significantly reduced" its staff, TechCrunch reports.

Responding to rumours that the company had made a number of people redundant, the site approached hi5 for comment.

The company's president and CTO, Alex St. John, responded, explaining that the company had migrated the portal to the Windows Server OS as part of a strategy to launch a "next generation social gaming platform" early next year.

In addition, the new site is being constructed with the .NET framework, using no open source of Java-base technology.

According to St. John, the cumulative effect of these changes has allowed hi5 to consolidate servers, increase performance, reduce costs, and cut back on the number of people required to support the site.

"As we have recently turned the corner on our technology migration efforts we have been able to significantly reduce the number of positions required to support the older hi5 site and are in the process of re-organizing the company to focus entirely on the development and deployment of our next generation social play site," he said.

Originally a social network in the vein of Facebook and MySpace, hi5 responded to the changing market by focusing on games.

The company raised $14 million in funding in July 2010 to help with the transition, and launched a new monetisation platform, SocioPay, earlier this year.

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.