Fansites are websites set up by fans of Habbo. Habbo has had many fansites over the years, and although many of the original ones are still open, (such as Habbox and HFFM), a lot of them have closed for various reasons. Previously fansites were labeled 'Official' by Sulake. However, this restriction had been lifted as Sulake decided that all fansites should be equal. Instead, every three months fansites are placed through a quality assurance audit to ensure their accordance to the Fansite Way.
'Official' fansites have returned since then with Habbo staff opening applications twice a year. Every time applications are open, owners or admins of fansites who feel they have the potential to become official may apply, and Habbo Staff will shortlist around 12 fansites to gain official status. Also, existing fansites who wants to remain official must re-apply. Otherwise, they would not be considered by staff whether or not to retain its official status, like in the case of leading news site Puhekupla who was not informed that they must re-apply. The admins thus failed to do so during the March 2014 applications, resulting in it being dropped as one of the Official fansites, which in turn generated disbelief hotel-wide. Puhekupla regained its official status the next time applications were opened in Fall 2014.
Each fansite is tasked to organise an Official Fansite Event every so often, mostly in conjunction with worldwide celebrations such as Fathers' Day and similar seasonal holidays. These Events are usually in the form of a maze or a game, and if completed successfully, the user would be awarded a badge. Habbox Graphics would usually submit a badge design and it would be turned into an official badge distributed to users if approved by Habbo. The Graphics department can boast that over 10 of their designs by their very own graphics designers have been turned into badges for official Habbox Fansite events.
Before regular fansites events were implemented, each official fansite had a Fansite Week dedicated primarily to them, and have three events throughout the week in which different badges can be won from each of them.
Current Official Fansites
The current official fansites are:-
In December 2016 Habbo Staff announced that the number of Official Fansites would be reduced to five, meaning six of the previous fansites were guaranteed to lose their official status. The five fansites who were to keep their status were announced on Twitter on December 23, 2016. A sixth site, HabboBites was added in July 2017 which resulted in the current six official sites.
Before this update, one of the reasons why a relatively more significant number of fansites added to the list was because there were only six fansites left over from the original list of 12 official fansites the last time a new batch of official fansites was announced in March 2014. The March 2014 Fansite shortlist considered by most to be a flop as almost half of the fansites closed down mid-season. Among those that shut down, one was HabboExtra was found out to be owned by the same owner of HabboQuests, Badge, which resulted in quite a big hoo-hah as it meant Badge held two Official fansites. A Habbox Forum user uncovered this, and The fiasco concluded after Badge decided to shut down HabboExtra and focused his attention on HabboQuests. Another example is Habulous which was owned by Puma that closed for unknown reasons, but made a brief comeback as HabGab, before settling again. The massively unpopular HabboSphere also closed down, with the owner joining FlyHabbo as a senior administrator. While there are many rumors that HabboSphere and FlyHabbo merged, this has been proven untrue by a staff of FlyHabbo. HabboSphere however reopened in time for the new batch of applications and made onto the original list by luck. Proms has also been fired by FH since.
Many Habbos have been critical of the ways Official Fansites are chosen and why some fansites who supposedly does nothing still makes it onto the list. Habbo staff has been accused of bias towards some Habbos, which in turn led to their fansite getting undeserved recognition.
In late 2012 when results for fansite applications were released, the team of HabboSecrets felt extreme unjust to the fact that such a popular site that most of the community depended on were denied official status, and thus staged a blackout. Furthermore, it was also brought to light that fansites that apparently offered hacking information became official. The outage was highly successful and was followed by fellow then-unofficial sites like ThisHabbo. Many tweets came through with the hashtag #HSBlackout, and the way that official fansites were chosen were heavily scrutinized.
In 2014, after HabboKingdom, ThisHabbo and HabboSphere were let on the official fansites list again, they were attacked harshly by the community. In particular, many were skeptical about HabboSphere and had accused it of being established solely for Proms, its owner, to organize the Official Fansite Events. These events are tedious and challenging, in a supposed attempt to make the badges 'rare'.
A Habbox Forum user had also revealed that HabboCentral stole layouts from a retro fansite, an act that was despicable and importantly, against the Habbo way. HabboCentral has since moved their domain from .net to .org and announced their decision to make a new layout. Later on, in 2015, the site has a little announcement and left the Status and closed.
To distinguish fansite owners in-game, three administrators from each fansite receive a special badge. Fansite owners also had a one-off three months of Habbo HC subscription free of charge which never happened again. Official Fansites that adhere to Sulake's quality standards are also added to the exclusive mailing list, where they can receive news on upcoming events, features, sneak peeks, and much more. These fansites may also promote their events on-client, and have their fansite advertised through official events (look above) and even by Habbo staff.