misundertanding asian social networks

finally! someone writes a good post about social networks in asia (tho i do have to say, I think qq is more an IM client, even tho it is an IM client on crack).

as i have been discussing the future of soompi and the potential for growth in the asian market with a lot of really smart people in the valley, i have been amazed with how little people know about the largest internet market in the world! social network services in asia are for the most part profitable. that, in and of itself, is a phenomenon worth studying.  also, is virality a cultural by-product there? or is a result of product development? these are all questions that could have major impact on how we do business here.

well, go read the post – its got some great insight. in the meantime, i will keep doing my research on the matter:)

2 thoughts on “misundertanding asian social networks

  1. Really fascinating read. I’ve always been curious about the different models of SNS’s in other countries and how they prosper.

    I agree with the point addressing how US based SNS’s are dependent on ad revenue, versus digital goods and how that inhibits creativity. Coming from the agency side I’ve heard sites ask what our clients wanted and how their SNS could accommodate. I think that takes the focus away from consumer, when the publisher should be more concerned with their target audience. One case I’d point out is with Asianave.com who seem to be so focused on what advertisers want, they fail to implement a solid user interface. It’s a really ugly convoluted site. However they do succeed at clocking in a huge number of visitors, which is what advertising look at. From what I’ve observed, they’ve implemented several partnerships, with brands like monster and angryasianman, that bring users back to Asianave. Still the site doesn’t present a great user experience. And I don’t know anyone who prefers Asianave over Myspace or Facebook.

    On the flip side, I don’t know if the US market is quite ready for digital goods when a lot of amenities like skins, songs, and casual games have always been free. Digital goods work well for the gaming community, however gamers are willing to dish cash to enhance their gaming experience. I’m not sure if Facebook commands a user base that is loyal enough to be willing to pay to pimp out their profiles. However there are some niche interest SNS’s that digital goods may be more suitable for.

    I should have posted this on my own blog. But I’ll use your space since you brought up the topic.

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