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Flipnote Hatena is an online service provided by Hatena Company Limited that allowed registered users to share, comment on, and download flipbook-style animations, known as “Flipnotes,” created using Flipnote Studio, a DSiWare application available exclusively for the Nintendo DSi.
Hatena Co. Ltd. opened Flipnote Hatena alongside Flipnote Studio’s launch in Japan on December 24, 2008.
“Stars” determine the popularity of a user and their uploaded Flipnotes. Users could give as many Stars to a Flipnote as they like, and anyone could use them, including unregistered users. This resulted in many users trying to get as many Stars as they can by begging, spamming, and tricking others into giving them Stars.
“Color Stars” are rare Stars that are bought online or rewarded for various actions. Users are rewarded with Green Stars (the most common type of Color Star) for reporting inappropriate content. Because of this, users falsely reported clean Flipnotes just to get Green Stars.
Users could “unlock” their animations prior to uploading them. Unlocked Flipnotes could be downloaded, copied, freely edited, and posted as “spin-off” Flipnotes. This feature was also abused, as people kept reposting others’ Flipnotes.
Each user had a profile page that displayed the total amount of Stars they have received, how many people were following them, and who they were following.
Discontinuation and Flipnote Studio 3D
On March 13, 2013, Nintendo broadcasted a Nintendo Direct Mini presentation announcing the upcoming release of Flipnote Studio 3D and the discontinuation of Flipnote Hatena.
The announcement caused a large amount shock and controversy among the community, resulting in users writing pleas and signing petitions in an attempt to prevent Flipnote Hatena from shutting down. None of said petitions were successful, and the service ended on May 31, 2013.