They just started selling land in Cloud Party. A 100m x 100m island goes for $14.95 US per month. If you pay five months up front they'll throw in a sixth month for free. I decided to grab one. Not because of what it offers right now, but to participate in the realization of the platform's potential. (You can see it for yourself here.)
Except for virtual worlds, our net-connected lives are pretty much experienced as a seamless whole these days. Movement between social networks, search engines, blogs and news, entertainment sites, etc. is almost transparent. The ability to effortlessly jump in and out of a 3D virtual world in the midst of everyday surfing is a game changer. And it's a step towards making my Avatars Everywhere dream come true.
I've introduced half a dozen virtual world virgins to Cloud Party by simply sending them a link. In less than 60 seconds they were in the world and starting the integrated tutorial. Not a single one of them would have gone through the brain damage of registering for Second Life, downloading and installing the client, and figuring out how to get around. Although Cloud Party is in early beta today, it's easy to see how it has the potential to significantly expand the virtual world market once the feature set has matured.
I made this short video to show that Cloud Party can already serve as a legitimate machinima platform. It has a long way to go before it offers features comparable to Second Life and OpenSim, but it's good to have another tool in the kit.