Vijay Anand | The Startup Guy.

Rumor: Social Networking not working?

Posted on: April 13, 2008

Disclaimer: These are just rumours. Tell me if they are true.

1. I’m hearing reports that a social networking site, one of the investments of Sequoia and ,the SN offering of reliance (Note: Update below) are both finding it hard to scale up and might face the inevitable very soon.

Is it true? if it is, then does this mark the fact that Social networking is a big No-no in India and whatever mass we had that was buying into that story have already sold their souls to orkut and facebook? How many users does Fropper have?

2. How are sites like techtribe doing?

3. Do you realize that the largest possible userbase is possibly the job sites like Naukri.com, and matrimonial sites like BharatMatrimony and Shaadi.com?

4. Given that in India, we have a fixed number of users who are perenially online, and do have the mindset and the bandwidth to “socially network”, wouldnt it be better to perhaps create an OpenID system, perhaps like the one that yahoo has created (openid.yahoo.com) to login into all of these sites, which would possibly also benefit all of these sites? Or is that something OpenSocial has to solve?

Do pitch in your thoughts.

Update:

It does seem that the Rs.100 crore that has gone into Bigadda and the marketing that it is undergoing, is essentially driving a lot of traffic. A quick alexa search with comparison to the other contenders show some pretty interesting trends.

Bits and pennies, (Thanks Sabah Kazi) has an interesting graph that shows the trend (using alexa)

So its quite apparent that there is a quite a bit of traffic being driven towards the site – actually some tens of millions.

I’d like to see a analysis on the conversion rates that are going on, the total traffic, the new user sign ups, and the breakup of active versus passive users.

One thing is clear, with the sheer amount of money pumping in, Bigadda.com might stick around for a while.

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11 Responses to "Rumor: Social Networking not working?"

I know one thing for sure, the Indian social networing sites had a high time around last year where all the top VC’s were funding it(sequoia funded 7 mill to minglebox.com), but since then the Indian social networking sites aren’t doing that great. Mingle box atleast seems to have been past its peak in the product life cycle.
Bharat Student seems to be quite big, though I don’t see them doing that great in the future.

The thing is you need to improvise in india.

Social networking sites of indian origin will only work in india if we give them a new incentive which they didnt get on orkut hi5 or facebook.

Indian social netwrokin sites are trying to do this by having campus moderators and paying them to blog or become sort of online evangelists.

Hmm. Bharatstudent… what do you think is the secret for them getting so many signups? I kinda explored a little. I’ll give you a hint: The so-called user-generated videos.

Trust me, “Social networking” is the last thing on the agenda there.

Hey, was just reading through your blog and was surprised at the “rumour” stated by you. Thought i’d drive ur attention to another blog that srutinizes the performances of some Indian SN’s where the numbers reflect well for Reliance’s Bigadda.com. A link to the same is – http://bitsandpennies.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/indian-social-networking-sites/
Besides, i am among the 1.5 million users who are on Bigadda.com and no…. i haven’t sold my soul to Orkut or Facebook!!! Over the months that i have been on the site, i’ve seen many small town users join in regularly… which comes to show that its only a growing culture and not a fading one!

Sabah, that’s quite interesting actually. I hear that Bigadda has sucked in Rs.100 crores as total expense so far, so I am not surprised at the numbers. I am sure there is traffic being driven to the site because of all the billboards that are up. I’d be interested to see a more user-case based numbers which show active-passive-new users.

BigAdda and fropper have great chances to succeed in the Indian market space. I will personally put my money on fropper because they have a particular focus (relationships) and they understand Indian market (they own famous shaadi.com). I do not like few features on their website but I hope that they will understand the market trends and will change. Please see my take on these sites on my blog.

Prashant: Good to see you here. I am not sure about Propper actually. It seems somewhere along the lines, Shaadi.com and Fropper are going to collide big time. They are going to have to forego one to hang on to the other.

I think differently. I think that traditional (serious adults, parents)ppl use shaadi while younger generation will use fropper. I can imagine that few youngsters will make their matches through fropper and that will have a negative impact on shaddi’s revenue but i do not see a collision in near future. I think that shaadi has done a nice job in segmenting its’ markets. Anyway, internet is evolving very fast and no wonder, we see a new site coming up in future.

Hmm. Prashant, do you work with the Shaadi.com/Fropper Group?

It’s actually a fear of the group that Fropper might become a replacement for shaadi.com, which is the reason why you see all the restrictions on now allowing online users to msg etc. Who knows, perhaps one might evolve into another. Also given that we are in a generation where the rise of matrimonial sites are high and we are also transitioning into a state in society where matches are made by couples rather than parents, more and more… who knows. Fropper might very well outrun Shaadi.com

Hahahaha !! I do not work with shaadi.com or Fropper.

I agree that Fropper might become a replacement for the shaadi.com and that could be (I hope) one reason that shaadi.com came with fropper. It is better that you compete with yourself rather that giving a chance to others to eat your lunch. I also do not like these features where they do not allow messaging and charge money. But I hope that they will learn as they must be having more user data.

@Prashant: Good to know. Well, I hope they evolve.

We got to really appreciate the work done!!!!! keep it up.

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