Facebook Lose Millions

Of course, they don’t have the million losses; however they are missing millions of potential dollars and users.

You may have already heard about the Facebook clones. We have one in Russia, it’s called vkontakte.ru, there are more than 13 million registered users, while there are only about 80 thousand Russian users on Facebook.

Why? I mean why so many people in Russia use the clone instead of Facebook? Not only because the Facebook interface is English, but because it lacks Russian universities and schools, so it doesn’t fullfil its primary function – it doesn’t help people to find each other, it’s hard to find your classmates, it’s hard to find people you study in university with. I tried to add my university to the list, I wrote an e-mail, but for some reasons it wasn’t added.

I doubt if the Facebook management knows about a Russian social network with more than 13 million users, otherwise they would act, I think. I believe Facebook would have all the Russian universities and schools.

Russia isn’t the only country which has a huge Facebook clone; there are some German clones, Spanish, Chinese. What does it mean? It means that Facebook doesn’t suit the local needs. You can find the top 10 of the Facebook clones here.

I assume that is because Facebook was created for the internal use of the students of the single univestity, it started to support other universities and big organisations, now you can register even if you don't have a college or orgranisation e-mail, however I think that their policy hasn't changed. They are still operating on the US market mostly without taking the local markets into consideration, even though they translated their interfaces into several languages.

I may be wrong, Facebook may be planning to take the local markets by storm, I don’t know, I presume. But I think if Facebook were owned by a huge media company like Microsoft and Google, their policy would be much more aggressive and Facebook clones would be wiped out from the market.

Mike Borozdin (Twitter)
16 June 2008

The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way. My personal thoughts tend to change, hence the articles in this blog might not provide an accurate reflection of my present standpoint.

© Mike Borozdin