As the online social networking phenomenon continues to grow, more and more competitors are trying to get into the market. There has been a lot of talk about Microsoft’s new Wallop, but is it really worth leaving MySpace for this new social network?

Unlike MySpace, Wallop is an invitation only social network. Meaning you must be invited by another user to join. Upon joining, Wallop will ask for your credit card information. This is because of Wallop’s “mods.” For MySpace, all modifications to your profile are done using HTML code. The HTML may be written by the end user, or taken from the internet and as a result, is free. The pages on Wallop are more like Power Point pages, which do not use HTML code to change the look. To change your look on Wallop, you have to purchase these “mods” for about $0.50 – $1.00 a piece. An easy way for Microsoft to make more money, but is Wallop targeting the same demographic as MySpace?

The answer is no. Wallop is meant to be an adult social networking community. The concept is a good one but will adult users migrate from a free social networking community like Myspace to a pay version? More and more adults are using Myspace to keep in touch with family and friends and also to advertise their businesses. The network is huge mainly because of its ability to personalize your page with free and widely available HTML. Wallop is cleaner and easier to navigate but profiles are not searchable (yet) and you must pay to personalize your page.

With the addition of Wallop to the social networking community, adults now have a place to go where it is targeted strictly for adults. However, it appears that Myspace has provided a place for 14-35 year olds to go without having to enter a credit card number, and pulling those adults away from a free and open service to a pay service is going to be a challenge.

Is Wallop a “MySpace killer” for Microsoft? Not a chance. Is Wallop worth a try? Only if you like tinkering around.