Vietnamese social networks “short of breath” in the race with Facebook

VietNamNet Bridge – In 2012, or three years after the day Vietnamese Zing Me announced it left Facebook behind in September 2009, Vietnam witnessed the enthronement of the foreign big social network in Vietnam.

Vietnam, social network, Facebook, superior

Facebook officially outstrips Zing Me in number of members

Phan Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of VTC Online, has quoted the figures from Com Score as saying that by the end of 2012, the number of Facebook’s members had reached 10 million, or double that of the same period of 2011.

Tuan said the increase in the number of Facebook’s members was “beyond Go.vn’s prediction.” “This shows that Vietnamese social networks like Zing Me or Go.vn have been left behind, and that if they do not change their development strategy, they would not have the positions in the social network market,” Tuan said.

Go.vn, for example, has been trying to avoid a direct confrontation with Facebook to be able to exist on the market. The network has shifted from a social network based on friend connectivity to a network based on educational content, films, music and TV.

The owner of Go.vn hopes that by going that way, Go.vn would be able to live together “in peace” with Facebook. Users can access Facebook to connect with friends or update information about friends, but they would also be able to access Go.vn to use suitable content services, or exchange views with friends on some topics.

Le Hong Minh, General Director of VNG wrote on his blog that in fact, the outdistancing of Facebook over Zing Me was predicted two years ago.

When asked about the ways VNG would follow in the time to come, a senior executive of VNG said Zing Me plans to gradually become a user platform, where the users and the third partners have “symbiosis” relations, while Zing Me would play the role of the intermediaries.

The market would be hot in 2013

Tuan has noted that in 2012, with the rapid increase in the number of smart phone users in Vietnam and the economic recession, people tent to use the software pieces allowing to make free messages via Internet (OTT), such as Facebook Messenger, Line, Kakao Talk, Zalo instead of the traditional SMS service. VTC Online would also join the market in the time to come.

The senior executive of VNG went on to say that in 2012, not only upgrading Zing Me apps on iOS, Android and other platforms (Zing Me has 2 million mobile users every month), VNG gathered strength on developing Zalo, its free messaging app.

Prior to that, VNG decided that Zalo would be like a version of Zing Me for mobile devices. However, it later changed its mind and decided that Zalo would be an independent app from Zing Me.

An expert said that by nature, WhatsApp, Viber are the mobile social networks, not simply the apps for messaging or making calls free of charge via Internet. Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises would be inferior to them, the same thing which has happed with Facebook and Zing Me, or Go.vn.

Therefore, in order to ensure the security and prevent risks, the watchdog agencies should apply the policy which supports the development of domestically made OTT apps. If so, Vietnamese enterprises would be able to develop the software pieces with the same high quality.

According to Com Score, by October 2012, with 8.5 million members, Facebook had outstripped Zing Me (8.2 million) to become the social network with the highest number of members in Vietnam.

Buu Dien

Vietnam, social network, Facebook, superior
 
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