Friday, April 04, 2008

Facebook vs Asia's Top Social Networks

Interesting Q&A with Benjamin Joffe, Managing Director at +8* about the performances of Asia's top social networks as compared to Facebook. From ReadWriteWeb:
Q | Facebook has enjoyed the media spotlight for over a year now, but it is still far from ruling the world. As Asia is said to be at the forefront of communities, what are the services that dominate there?

A | It is interesting to see that Facebook has almost no presence in the three markets we cover: China, South Korea and Japan. In China, QQ dominates by far with 300 million active accounts, Cyworld has close to 20 million in South Korea while Mixi has 14 million in Japan.

Q | Those are pretty big figures for subscribers. Even so, Facebook has a good portion of them globally and is losing money. Are the Asia social networks making money?

A | One thing to keep in mind is the addressable population: QQ only deals with China, Cyworld addresses seriously only Korea, Mixi is only in Japan. Corresponding penetration rate among Internet users are: 150% for QQ, 57% for Cyworld, 15% for Mixi. It becomes even more interesting when realizing all three are largely profitable. Notably, QQ had 523 million USD in revenues in 2007 and 224 million operating profit, with only 13% coming from advertising! This is more than Facebook's total revenues. Moreover, Facebook was still losing money last year (and likely this year).

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