TheGioiBan joined Facebook clone bandwagon, will it follow FaceViet? 

It seems that the Fadbook for Vietnamese bandwagon has only just begun. After Guongmat, Tamtay, FaceViet, Zoomban (now stopped), new comer (TGB) has just entered the market with some exciting features. It seems that TGB is the product of a group of overseas Vietnamese, as they revealed in a comment to my blog entry on Vietnamese FB clones.


I signed up for an account today and found the functionalities are quite well-developed and delicate. Graphic user interface is also cool, simple and elegant. Most of the basic Facebook SNS functionalities can be found in TGB, and they do provide a satisfactory user experience, from my perspective. However, I could not stay at TGB for long, as there are not many things to play around, or maybe my needs are different from those of their target audience.


Some profiles of TGB members has a themed background. Maybe these are TGB staff & management. It can be guessed that in the coming time, TGB will provides themes setting options for members, which follows Yahoo 306’s popular feature and differentiated from the authentic Facebook.


Still, most of the functionalities and user interface of TGB is just like Facebook, which lead me to question why user should use TGB while they can use the original, authentic, feature-rich (Apps, SNS functionalities) and well-rooted Facebook?


Here are some questions raised from TGB’s launch:


  1. How TGB can differentiate from FaceViet, Tamtay, and the FB Vietnamese itself?
  2. While the revenue model is not available until FB realize it revenue model in the next few years, how TGB can grow, and where to secure financing once IDGVV has invested in Tamtay?
  3. How will with some decent funding from IDGVV recently respond with TGB’s entry? My guess: the war would be brutal as Tamtay is the first (and maybe only) FB clone that received VC funding in Vietnam, while TGB is clearly going further in GUI, functionalities and coolness.
  4. Finally, how all FB clones create a revenue model while further financing has become more difficult given the current credit crunch?

My predict is that TGB will have to face similar difficulties that FaceViet, Guongmat has experienced, while Tamtay will not let them easily realize their dream. TGB has gone further FaceViet, Guongmat and Tamtay in terms of product functionalities and brand image, but their time of launching is not favorable enough. It is too late now for a complete FB clone for Vietnamese.


Would Vietnamese Internet users need another FB clones now? As the old saying, I think it all depends… I remembered once one of my staff came to me asking if he can work on a FB clone proposal if he firmly believes it would be successful, and here’s what I said: If there are still local needs that the original FB did not and would not well serve, then why not?