Yahoo is betting big on India to roll out its social networking site. Its Indian unit has started SpotM, a new social networking site, which is being beta-tested in the domestic market. If successful, SpotM would be rolled out internationally to take on giants like Orkut, Facebook, MySpace. Beta trials include extending memberships through invites.The move by Yahoo India comes after the internet giant decided to shut down its current social property, Mash, by September-end.
An increasing number of youngsters are taking to the social networking scene in India, which also has huge talent pool for launching such a venture.
SpotM is reportedly targeting 16-24 years old in India, though the company spokesperson did not confirm it. The official also declined to divulge further details of the product. “As a global company, Yahoo encourages each market to innovate for their local audience based on local user needs. Yahoo India is in the early stages of working on an invitation-only communications experiment for users in that market. We will share additional details about this product if and when we launch it publicly,” the official added in an e-mail response to DNA Money’s query.
The company has sent out communications to members on Mash that the site will be closed from September 29 and that they should save their profiles and any other information they want.
Yahoo’s attempt to ride the social revolution with an Indian focus is not surprising. According Alexa, an Internet research company, while Brazil leads the pack in Orkut user demographics with 19.7% users, India closely follows with 18.7% of the sign-ins. The US is third with just 12.9% sign-ins. According to an AC Nielsen study, three-quarters of Indian respondents have been using social networking websites for two or more years and two-thirds spend more than half-an-hour on each session. All had a very positive attitude towards social networking websites. The Nielsen survey also found over half (58%) joined a social networking site to reconnect with old acquaintances they have lost touch with, and to make new friends (53%).
6 months ago