The industry of social networking websites is pretty competitive, with sites like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook leading the way. The surge in popularity seen by Facebook has meant that it’s almost impossible for any new social networking website to establish itself, unless of course it has a serious niche to it. That’s where Skinbook comes in, as Skinbook is a social networking website with one very specific niche – it’s for nudists.
Amazingly, Skinbook is actually a UK based website and it takes its rules and regulations very seriously for the benefit of its members. Members are not allowed to post lurid images, leave dirty comments, upload headless photos or generally misuse the website. It’s for nudists, people who feel more comfortable when they’re naked – and it’s a social networking website.
Skinbook is designed to use similar features to Facebook, and even has its own Facebook page to lure members away from the US based giant. Karl Maddocks, the co-founder of Skinbook, explained:
“For younger people, nudism is free from politics or activism. It’s purely recreational. For younger nudists, it’s just about going off to the beach and getting some beers out and just being yourself around like-minded people.
The idea of going to a walled-off nudist club or colony populated with single elderly guys in sandals and socks, to me that’s just too cultish and weird.”
Karl Maddocks isn’t what you might expect either, he’s not a dirty old man, he’s a 25 year old student studying politics at Manchester. Karl also explained that while most nudist clubs around the UK tend to have older members, the average age of members on Skinbook is between 35 and 40, and the age is coming down. Maddocks also said that the majority of members on Skinbook were female, but then he would!
Maddocks went on to add that they’re quite strict on accepting new members:
“We try to keep up the quality of membership. We get about 200 sign-ups a day, but we only accept about 10% of applicants due to the poor or X-rated quality of most attempts to join.”
24 year old Jessica Kennedy, co-founder of Skinbook, says she spends a lot of time checking the site to make sure no rules are broken and that any abusive or lurid members are removed.
“Right from the start, any sexism or abusive behaviour towards women simply wasn’t an option.”
This is one social networking website that just may succeed in the overly congested marketplace.