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  • HarryD 10:06 am on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: TheGioiBan, Vietnamese Facebook clones   

    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 TheGioiBan.com (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 Tamtay.vn 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?

    • Jessica 6:35 pm on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      TGB it the best one I’ve seen of Fb clone. As you were saying of the theme for members profile users are able to make their own theme for their profile like myspace. Though the site was barely launch I do believe it will be the best. They just need to get the word out. Though I think their website is not run by a company so, I think the funding are zero to nothing now.

    • Jessica 6:37 pm on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      TGB it the best one I’ve seen of Fb clone. As you were saying of the theme for members profile users are able to make their own theme for their profile like myspace. Though the site was barely launch I do believe it will be the best. They just need to get the word out. Though I think their website is not run by a company so, I think the funding are zero to nothing now.

    • TaiTran 7:44 pm on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the update Harry,

      I gave a “wow!” experience for its rich features and elegant GUI. More updates from my exploration to come.


    • Chip 2:23 am on November 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oh man, I already pinged this post but I don’t know why it doesn’t show up here.
      Anyway, here is the link to my post about Facebook Clone in Vietnam. Thanks for your post, HarryD.

    • Johnie 4:21 pm on November 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Jeee-sus. Facebook clone, without all the users and no 3rd party applications? How far that will go? Yep.

    • John 12:18 pm on November 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      If we build facebook clone. its legal or illegal??? bcoz i found some blogs that facebook clone will be banned by facebook owner..??? i dont know.. can u clarify with that???

    • TechLang 4:54 pm on November 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      FB model is not suitable for Vietnam market 😉

    • Mike Nguyen 8:18 pm on February 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Faceviet.com just filed bankruptcy

    • harelshareman 1:40 pm on April 16, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      TGB is a dead website, there’s like 1-2 visitors per day, they’re ranked like 3,000,000 on Alexa!
      The FB model will never work in VN.

    • Drew 11:40 pm on January 30, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Lots of Facebook clones. None of them have the backend resources and financing that FB has.

    • Corporate Team Building 5:38 am on October 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing such a useful information and it’s very helpful for everyone.

  • HarryD 3:12 am on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Vietnamese Facebook clones   

    Facebook Vietnamese language gaining traction, how can Vietnamese Facebook clones survive? 

    I recently checked the translation functionality of Facebook for Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese), and it was, well, really cool. The wording is quite accurate, and fits with the context of Vietnam. The community function is engaging, and they have gathered a bunch of cool enthusiasts getting translation for them for free just because these guys really love their Facebook pages.


    It was a surprise for me that Facebook in Vietnamese could go that fast without any fanfare. Which may implicate a lot of difficult for Vietnamese Facebook clones, including FaceViet, Tamtay and Guongmat.


    Last year, I predicted that Zoomban, the Facebook clone from VCCorporation will soon be come a winner once it is launched in late 2007. A lot of changes has taken place since then.  Zoomban project was, to my surprise, canceled by VCC management. However, they were quite smart to stop this project in time, just imagine Zoomban’s position at the moment once Facebook Vietnamese version is launched. VCC opts for a painful but smart direction, so that they can have a better focus on what have made them different and well-positioned so far.


    Which remains FaceViet, Tamtay and Guongmat in the battle again original Facebook-the-Vietnamese-language-version. Their worst scenario: Facebook launching the Vietnamese language in Vietnamese, and they even go further with a culturally relevant Vietnamese homepage and a Vietnamese domain name, Facebook.vn for instance! Worse even, Facebook, with the global brand awareness prowess, strike deals with major Vietnamese media owners, publishers and SNS to make them compatible with FB system and take them into FB ecosystem. Final move would be to organize a Developer Program for Vietnamese developers. By these initiatives, Facebook Vietnamese version would definitely dominate the local market and corner the local clones.


    How are the Vietnamese FB clones performing? Guongmat is too slow in execution, so their opportunities have evaporated. FaceViet have been struggling for almost one year with many ups and downs, and now looks too much like other teenager-oriented SNS, which is a pity because of their excellent brandname and a young, dynamic management team. Tamtay is doing quite good on execution in terms of increasing their music and video inventory, but its core positioning is still not very clear.


    Tamtay has video, photo, and all other social networking functionalities, but sadly enough most of these functionalities are so me-too and uncool. Its total registered users is more than 250,000, but it seems their DAU and MAU are much smaller, and a check with their traffic on Google Trends would show a not very impressive growth. The most problematic issue with Tamtay is its brand is “uncool”, while building a “cool” brand should be the must for any successful new brand (“cool” here should be understood as a combination of many attractive and engaging brand image attributes rather than a teen-oriented one, as a BMW is also consider “cool” in Vietnam though it is not for teenagers). But who knows with a (rumored) VC funding coming in, Tamtay would become more innovative in the future?


    Can Vietnamese FB clones succeed? I stand by my view points one year ago that this is almost impossible. Vietnamese FB clones should not take the success of StudVZ or Xiaonei as their inspiration for a FB clone, but look thoroughly into the real insights of local consumers and develop innovative and disruptive products that can offer a differentiate value proposition from original international models. This would be a bit more difficult than cloning an international model, but a less riskier option once the authentic, original competitors move in and acquire Vietnamese consumers, who always prefer foreign brands to domestic ones if the followers are only imitators.

    • TaiTran 5:01 am on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Harry,

      You covered 4 Facebook clones.

      What do you think of other Social Networks and Blogging Platform that provide certain Social features?


    • Nhon.PT 9:09 am on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Harry,

      If Facebook come in Viet Nam, it’s sound good. I use Facebook everyday that I haven’t see anysite can provide many widgets as Facebook can. I’ll look fw to see it in Viet Nam.

      Great news!

    • Duc Ban 4:47 pm on October 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Harry,

      Don’t worry about these clones, if they have their own reason to online, I think Facebook’s new language pack isn’t a big trouble. The sheep were dead before the wolf come, my friend.

      At my point: These clones doesn’t have any chance in Vietnam because they can’t become Facebook Vietnam, not because Facebook or because Facebook release Vietnamese version. The reason is Facebook is not only a social networking, but also a very very strong platform. They have FBML, APIs, Facebook Connect system… I don’t think any of these clones can build a platform like that. All they think about is just a website, everyone can build a website like that, I am very sure about it.

      Every success story begin by a concept, but behind the concept is a solid platform.

      Duc Ban.

    • HarryD 6:45 am on October 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply


      There are too many social networks in Vietnam that covering them all would be too overwhelming and boring to my audience, most of whom prefer a “less is more” and squarely focused approach. Implications mentioned in my pieces can be shared with most of other Vietnamese SNS as well. I will also review other SNS in the future if that can be interesting enough.

      Regarding Blog (only) Platform, there are two approaches: the technology and the business model ones. Anyone can claim they have the blog platform technology, but it is difficult to become a truly blog platform business model. Think of WordPress, TypePad and Twitter as the few that can be considered to be truly “platforms” for bloggers. So in Vietnam, there is no “blog platform” in terms of business model yet. I don’t argue with many who claim they have developed their own blog platform technology/programming.

      Social features have now become a standard for most of online publishers in the US (you can write you comments on almost all of news article, even in the New York Times), so expect this to become common features in all Vietnamese web 1.0 in the coming time as well.

      Social networks with social features will become a commodity in Vietnam very soon. Remember we are entering 2009, not in 2003 when MySpace and Facebook are the novelties. Think of something further, like a new business model, rather than another social networks with blogging and social functionalities. Sadly enough, many Vietnamese SNS are launching like there is no tomorow. I wish them well weather the credit crunch intact by the end of 2009.


      A great part of FB is its ecosystem, including those seemingly stupid widgets. Imagine these widgets can be translated fastly and “scalably” like FB Vietnamese, and Vietnamese soon can approach this huge apps inventory overnight. That’s too good to be true for us FB users.


      You’re totally right. My addition: all the “small” functionalities made the FB ecosystem. To borrow Michael Porter, you can copy one thing but you can not clone that whole ecosystem. Know thyself well does help in cloning web 2.0 models then.

    • Dungiis 2:20 pm on October 15, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      In fact Vietnamese support in Facebook will not affect Vietnamese FB clones, they just copy the “skin” of FB rather than true core concept of FB 🙂

    • Karen 4:44 pm on November 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      i got bord of facebook… maybe i have out grow my “wasting time” age… i am a facebook user n help do some translation in hope that vietnamese people can use it too…

      because of cultural influence, i find it is hard to use tamtay, faceviet n such… and the new site yobanbe… most of the link are odd… dont connect u anywhere… or take u out of the main page without tellin you so…

      i agree on yahoỏ 360 is a popular feature on yahoo on vietnam, because u can write blog…

      i think if those new social network could get someone to write about blog, incorporate job posting, event promoting for certain things….

      most teen who are 13-17 use those social network… but when you get a bit older, u would not even care about those site… why is the reason… you have to much things to do… maybe if those social network site could also add reminder, easy to access, doesn’t require too much memory to load up, n fast and secure site, and create an asmosphere for people to come in… have an active teams to monitor, holding discussion about what is goin on in vietnam n so on…

      i just know the miss vietnam can’t crown the new miss vietnam her title… we all can assume the reason: i bet the sponsor want to sleep with her n she refuse… so he kick her off, not aware of the fact that people can think… also, who give him the title to kick someone off… there is no correct system here… no right, no protection, no image… we will automatically assume that “those host show” just want to sleep with those girls… n give off the bad vipe…

      if those new site can have news, games n such… i’m sure most of people would spend 15′ of their time goin in there to read n check out new stuff…

      but i’m aware vietnamese gov’t isn’t much of a supporter like the chinese… so most efford n attempt will be failed…

    • Cathy Catala 11:44 am on March 10, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Important guide. Were did you acquired all the information from

  • HarryD 7:43 am on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Guongmat, , , Vietnamese Facebook clones, , Zoomban   

    Vietnamese Facebook clones’ face-off Part 2: VC’s Zoomban prepares inroad 

    As I wrote earlier that VC Corp is busy preparing their own Facebook clone, now its Zoomban.com is planning to go public, heating up the already crowded marketplace. Now it’s time to check the performance of the key players: FaceViet, Tamtay, Guongmat, and some predictions on the competition once Zoomban is officially launched.

    FaceViet has just launched its new platform, upgraded its server capacity and adding more entertainment features. Its new interface is cooler, but less elegant than the former and, strangely enough, is somewhat like LinkedIn! I actually prefer the old interface, because of its simplicity and crystal convenience (or maybe I’m too old to like cool things). I guess FaceViet has changed both its source code and interface too. The most remarkable functionality of the new FaceViet is its “Entertainment” feature, which provides a quite big library of online music and movies. This has proved a good tactical move, as FaceViet’s Alexa ranking has rocketed in the past few days because of this entertainment function. However, as the Vietnamese government, i.e. Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, has recently requested all pirate online music websites in Vietnam to strictly follow the Law on Intellectual Ownership, FaceViet’s move will be very risky in the coming time. FaceViet also provides its own vertical search engine that helps users find music and movie files.

    My forecast: With all these moves, FaceViet has regained good traffic improvements, but in the longer term, its business model becomes more confused. It seems FaceViet will continue its evolution with a focus on music and movie, and become a portal like VinaGame’s Zing.

    Guongmat has made almost no progress since the last time I wrote about them in November 2007, except for a new interface, and again has a strikingly similarity to FaceViet, especially the silver-colored design template. It also allows users to customize background pictures and “themes”. Actually I quite like Guongmat’s simplicity and some of its very convenient features like photo uploading process, but Guongmat has became a little bit too boring and provides no differentiation among the Vietnamese Facebook clones.

    My forecast: Guongmat need to look into its inner self to find where are its core competencies and what kind of value proposition and business model it is crafting, or other players like FaceViet, Tamtay and the upcoming Zoomban will put a full stop to Guongmat.

    Tamtay.vn has made some good progress in terms of traffic and customer acquisition. It now boasts more than 100,000 registered users, but most of these users have very little activity on Tamtay. From my perception, most users coming to Tamtay are teenagers, and they came there mostly because of Tamtay’s good selection of sexy photos and updated online movies! This is a smart short term tactic, but in the long term “bribing” customers with sex will only diminish the long term value proposition and brand equity.

    My forecast: I’m quite impressed with Tamtay’s performance, but again it will need to redefine a long term business model and a strong differentiation strategy, or it will trail behind Clip.vn in terms of online video and the upcoming Zoomban in terms of social networking functionalities.

    Among the Facebook clones, VC Corp’s Zoomban would be the most exciting to watch. With VC Corp’s tons of cash, technology capabilities and smart marketing initiatives, I guess Zoomban will soon become the biggest player and cause a lot of difficulties for both FaceViet and Tamtay. A good, fun, attractive user interface combined with delicate social networking functionalities will make Zoomban outstanding among its competitors. VC Corp’s widely reached Internet properties, including Dantri, TTVNOL, Baamboo, Sannhac, ChannelVN etc… will soon help Zoomban with a lot of free media value that FaceViet and Tamtay could never dream of.

    My forecast: It’s too early to make any forecast, but I guess Zoomban will score an early home run when it is launched in the next few months. However after that it will need to define a clear business model while the original Facebook is in its own difficulty finding an appealing social ad platform after Beacon has come to a full failure.

    The competition ahead between Vietnamese Facebook clones is now somewhat not very intriguing, as we’ve already sketch out the possible market leader. The more interesting thing is how the winner will find a way to make money on the back of their social graph and justify a differentiation with the original, authentic Facebook. For my part, I would stick to my viewpoint that Facebook is a uniquely US phenomenon and any attempt to replicate Facebook in another culture and country are too much risky, with China’s Xiaonei and the likes as good reference.

    • Robert Michel 7:50 am on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I just stopped by your blog and thought I would say hello. I like your site design. Looking forward to reading more down the road.

      Robert Michel

    • Jason 8:12 am on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Zoomban is run on asp.net, a bit hard to follow FB as platform for developers. FB clones are not as hot as last year.

    • Jason Rakowski 8:16 am on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

      Jason Rakowski

    • Thanh Le 7:14 pm on March 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks Harry for the quick updated blog.

      The market is crowded and I am excited to see more players jumping on board.

    • Do Kiet 10:59 am on March 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Zoomban seems to be the best Facebook clone, it has the platform for developers.

    • HarryD 11:09 am on March 24, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      @Kiet: can you detail further you perception that Zoomban has the platform for developers, as Jason has pointed out that Zoomban is developed on .Net framework while we knew PHP should be the right one for developers?

      @Thanh Le: appreciate your fairplay spirit, but you would have a lot of difficulties ahead then, because most of web 2.0 categories can only afford one market leader and there is almost no chance for second placed player (if there is second player at all!). It’s a pity, but I can’t wait to see what happen next and do hope there is a Cinderella story in web 2.0 Vietnam. Finally good luck to your team.

    • Do Kiet 11:42 am on March 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Harry,

      I do not know much of how the platform will be, I just wanted to say I give them credits for having it.

      As for GuongMat.com, it is so boring and it doesn’t change anything since last time.

      Faceviet.com is boring just like Guongmat.com, they both have the same script online, most of the users are fake.

      tamtay.vn is really cool because of the video contents and the speed.

      Zoomban will probably be the future of social networking site for students.

    • Do Kiet 1:19 pm on March 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Guongmat and Faceviet bought the php script from this site http://www.socialengine.net for $300. The demo is here http://demo.socialengine.net/home.php

    • Gian Thương 3:25 am on April 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I just passby Zoomban and see it is good design, not sure how cool is it after launch. It is perfect for teen!

      Hope to ready more interesting content from your like.

    • Van Son 8:58 am on April 14, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      i think Tamtay.vn is the best, they have more than 135000 members while Faceviet has 1000, GuongMat.com has 3700. I do not agree with what you said about the “little activity” of tamtay. Their system are intergrated and there are so many offline activities as well. FV, on the other hand, most of their members are fake, if not, they are just there to watch those online clips, which tamtay has way a lot more and much faster to load.

    • KCA 2:24 pm on June 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      hm, hm thanks for your blog, i just discover, , pretty good work you are doing with Jasonlog.

      With regards to the subject of your post, i am pretty sure that when BuddyPress will be ready, somes others player will come in the arena, maybe me ^^, and i think that it will make a big difference, because of the open source plateforme, and especially because Automatic is behind.

      In the long term, I don t see any point to clone Facebook if you cannot share the same API, so your menbers can still link with Facebook menber by example. Same for Yahoo 360.
      Maybe the OpenID is sufficient, but as far i see the OpenID not really takes off.

      When we are talking about the menbers, do we take in account the active menbers, who connect to their account at least 1 time/ week, or do we take every ones, en the ones who just registered to check the service?

      Anyway… Keep up the good work

    • Nhon.PT 8:47 am on October 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Great analyst! Do you thing a clone of Facebook is realistic in Viet Nam?

  • HarryD 4:09 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , GuongMat.com, , Vietnamese Facebook clones   

    Vietnamese Facebook clones’ face off: FaceViet vs. GuongMat vs. Tamtay vs. VC Corp vs. you name it… 

    More Vietnamese Internet players are joining the Facebook cloning bandwagon, and there are 15 billion reasons they may end up like their Chinese counterpart Xiaonei.

    Coming earliest to the field should be GuongMat.com, an exact Facebook clone from design to functions to everything. It is rumored GuongMat is put up by an oversea Vietnamese. GuongMat’s advantage is its clean and intuitive interface and easy to use Facebook functions like photo and message. However, that’s all what GuongMat have on its face. With these assets, GuongMat might have 240 million improvements ahead before becoming a Vietnamese Facebook.

    Tamtay.vn is the second guy entering the field. Actually when entering Tamtay, you should expect a buffet of web 2.0 mess, from video clips to photos to everything you can imagine. The only thing why I categorize Tamtay as a Facebook clone is its recent redesign to look exactly like Facebook. Tamtay is in a serious identity crisis, and until their management can pronounce concisely in one sentence what business model it is hatching, another 240 million improvements should be worthless.

    Interesting enough is new comer FaceViet, which will launch amid fanfare from this November 20. Khoa Pham assembled a very interesting feature on FaceViet through his interview with FaceViet’s CEO, so I would not elaborate more on this. From my point of view, FaceViet has a cool name and a pretty design, taking its dark red as signature color (although this makes the site too feminine). I would say this is a very smart identity move, as it is exactly opposite to Facebook. Key functions of FaceViet are news feed/mini feed, photos, events, super wall etc. FaceViet’s clever product strategy should make it one of the first to earn Vietnamese Facebook clone marquee.

    It is rumored VC Corp, one of Vietnam’s leading web 2.0 players with popular Baamboo and Sannhac services, is also busy preparing a Facebook clone. This might create a lot of difficulties for FaceViet, as VC Corp is well known for their technology capabilities and smart marketing concepts.

    The face off between Vietnamese Facebook clones therefore will just intensify in the coming time, but it is easy to see a future between the two horses: FaceViet and VC Corp. FaceViet have assembled a group of passionate and well-educated management team. It has done some early good work in brand identity and technology platforms. Meanwhile, VC Corp’s people have a team of very experienced managers but not just simply theoretical knowledge. They well know the pulse of the market, and is a deep pocket player as well. One more thing that FaceViet can not match VC Corp is VC Corp’s unrivalled reach through its key web properties. My prediction is that VC Corp will soon surpass FaceViet in terms of customer acquisition and become the No. 1 Facebook clone in Vietnam.

    A subjective prediction it is, but any winner in this red sea battle will find it in another challenge: how to find the vitality for its Facebook clone. I would stand by my viewpoint that Facebook is uniquely a US phenomenon. Any attempts to replicate Facebook in another culture and country are risky enough. All Vietnamese Facebook clone should look to neighbouring China to find heavily VC-backed Xiaonei, the most successful Facebook clone ever in Asia, as a good example. Vietnam, like China, has its own cultural context and any attempts to replicate international business model with “top-down” approach rather than from “bottom-up” demand analysis should have to pay a considerable price tag.

    Maybe in one years’ time, all my predictions will be proved utterly wrong. In that case, forgive me for a viewpoint that has taken Vietnamese culture, context and consumer insights too far in business strategizing.

    • Hoang Tran 9:49 pm on November 18, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting analysis. Thanks Harry for a thoughtful post. I would agree that the competition now is between FaceViet and VCcorp “future to be announced product”. (The other websites make me feel like a pretty coat but no spirit inside)

      VCcorp is surely one of the power horses in Vietnam with IDG backed-up, and they have the manpowers that they need: management team, engineers, PR, web alliances. etc.. I haven’t seen their product yet so I will not say anything more than this.

      On the other hand, FaceViet adopts the facebook model in the full extends with well-designed website, easy to navigate user interface and as you said “a group of passionate and well-educated management team.” In this industry, we all know that the people is what drive one good idea into a successful product.

      Will a power horse win or will it be another hi-tech Cinderella story? I will have my eyes wide opened and seriously can’t wait to see when the battle settled.

    • Alex Minh 5:14 am on November 19, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      I totally agree with you two about FaceViet and VC Corp. If* VC Corp. is going to make a clone of facebook ( I use if because we are not sure whether they are going to make one or mayb with all the fund they got from IDG , they may acquire faceviet) then we will have 2 horses race.

      It is very interesting to see who will come on top. We all know that VC Corp. got fund from IDG but who is behind faceViet.com? We do not know yet.

      Like you two, I will keep an close eyes on both.


    • Hồng Quang 5:55 am on November 20, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      We’ll never know what will work on the net until it works. One thing for sure, the game place is getting crowded — the first one who could reach 1M subscriptions (just refer to current Y!360 user number in VN roughly) would be likely to win the match, I guess.

    • thanhdn 9:43 am on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      From technical point, it’s not so difficult to create something like faceviet. You might forget the fact that ttvnol.com had been popular in the schools since 1999…, ThangVV has alot of experience of school community development. So VC’s has a big advantage to dominate the market.

    • Hoang Tran 11:38 pm on November 21, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @thanhdn: Can’t agree more! VCcorp has more advantages in developing one community.

      @Hong Quang: 1 million would be a too big of a number, you think? I would say anybody has 500K would be good to go.

      According to recent news (rumor), VCcorp is not going to be a the biggest guy in the game anymore. Another giant from oversea (either China or US branch, still confirming) is developing another clone and will push it in the market by end of 2007. It is so funny that I hear people talking about this almost everyday, even within my company.

    • tanng 2:20 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi all. You all seem to forget that on the Internet the best product will eventually win. Marketing or financial power will not be a key factor to success. Also, Internet is about whole new thing, so any experience will bring no advantage to you. Sometime experience even make harm to you because it keeping your from accepting new idea, inventing new thing or new way of thinking.

      So I think that everyone except FB is on equal footing in this game (in fact FaceBook has huge product advantage to all other FaceBook clones)

    • HarryD 3:19 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Hoang Tran: I also hear from my friends that a number of other players are lining up to join game, in the wake that Facebook clones in China and Germany are collecting some $100 million each.

      @Tanng: The best product stems from the combination of excellent marketing insights and relevant technology platforms. All founders of greatest tech companies are at the core marketing genius (thinking of Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Mark Zuckerberg & Co. itself). Any disruptive innovation is at core a marketing phenonmena through satisfying unmet demands based on mix-matching current technologies (not the new ones). Financial resources will allow scaling up, which is not less important. So while I agree with you that product is most important, marketing and financing capabilities are also a must in any success. Even Facebook had to get some good financing deals to go this far. Other factors equal, VC and VinaGame with more bucks and more people have more probability to succeed than others.

    • Xman 5:14 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @Tanng: I did not see any core tech with VCC products, many see VCC just had Marketing or/and financial power (Dantri, ttvnol and Vincom)

    • nam 5:26 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      interesting post
      i believe GuongMat.com has been online for only a few months. Seems like tamtay.vn is the first FB clone?

    • tanng 5:47 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Hi HarryD. Financial resource and marketing power could make more harm than benefit, because it may kill innovation spirit. Do you think that Yahoo, Microsoft or Google have less money and power and FaceBook? But they all still fail.

      When resources are scared you have to:

      • Optimize your technology so your application run fast with less resource. Make it scalable by technology not by money.
      • Doing smart marketing not silly PR and advertising like TimNhanh.com and Zing are doing now.
      • Streamlining your service, keeping only core features thus not allowing your product derail from the core value.

      When you have too many resouces you may

      • Get everything bloated: service, server, community, …
      • Overhyped and mislead by alexa and google analytics success, not measuring your success by customer satisfaction and enthuasism
      • Raising too much expectation from customer, thus risking over-promise
      • Distract your service from the core.
      • Not trying to get excellency from your team, your technology, your product.

      My 2 cents is marketing and money may have some impact, but their importance is reduced to nearly zero. That is the beautifulness of the Internet.

      In Vietnam biggest disadvantage of small company may be legal problem. Vinagame has smart and dirty practice that use legal system to attack small player, which may kill their competition in one night.

    • Hoang Tran 7:46 am on November 22, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      @nam: I am not sure if you know what you are talking about? Tamtay.vn is a great place for R rated video clips. Their marketing strategy is “Sex sells no matter what”. And I am not blaming them because it works with the Vietnamese internet users. But do I want to have my high school bros and sisters go in there to learn something? Hek no!

      @X man: VCC is big in financial because IDGVV is backing them up. Doesn’t mean that IDGVV is their best buddy to go with them all the way to the end. VCC needs to focus on what they do best which is Baamboo right now and Sannhac later. I personally know a group of guys in Europe is working on a product that would compete with sannhac.com. Sannhac.com is a good product but VCC is pushing them too slow because they think there would be no competition. Wrong thought!

      @tanng: I do agree with tanng that VCC and Vinagame can be a b*(ch and kill a smaller start-up in a few days by all the tricks that they used before. It is an open market and people do what they need to survive, (ethical or not). The legal problem is the BIGGEST problem anybody have to face when they do business in Vietnam.

      I love this quote:”My 2 cents is marketing and money may have some impact, but their importance is reduced to nearly zero. That is the beautifulness of the Internet.” Money might not be able to reduce to zero but marketing effort can be.

    • Duc Loc 11:57 pm on November 26, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      Have anybody noticed that most of the users in faceviet are fake. I have tried to send messages to many people and nobody ever replied. Another weird thing is that most users don’t even have a photo or are not associated with any particular group.

      I understand the need to get the first few thousand users and many social network inflate their numbers by registering fake users, but this seems to be overwhelming because most of the users on faceviet are fake. Can anybody confirm that?

      Also with so many bugs as of current version and the design is almost an exact copy of the original facebook, I wonder if faceviet just bought a cheap facebook clone script on the net and use that as the base to their site.

      I searched around for a little while and found a few sites that offer php scripts that can create a facebook clone.

      Here is the list:
      1/ http://www.influxive.com/isociety/index.php
      You can test ride it with
      username is tomchen@ima.com
      password is admin

      2/ http://forums.phpfox.com/showthread.php?t=11747
      This is supposed to be a mod for phpFox, social network software that originally created to look like myspace clone.

      There are plenty others facebook clone scripts, but most of those are really badly coded. I hope that Faceviet is not based on one of those because they will have problem when they need to scale up and handle bigger traffics.

    • Tran Minh 2:29 am on November 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply

      It doesn’t really matter what now, since the “big guy” is on its way to crush FaceViet and VCcorp

      Make a good comparison:
      VCCorp has financial power, coders and more than that back up from its others web propertities = technology + financial + political power. However, what’s VC core business? Baamboo, and they don’t really want to lose that market to somebody else, do they?

      FaceViet has a good team and a working product, so ? Not enough!

      The “big guy” has been pushing rumors all over the place that it will bring one of the best web 2.0 application that nobody has ever seen in Vietnam.

      I think the coding is not something important because what if you have Google or Yahoo script (http://ddth.com/showthread.php?t=143323) , faceviet ( http://freecodevn.com/for@um/showthread.php?t=34312 ) script, would you ever be able to scale up your search engine to be as big as Google or Yahoo ? No, no and no.

      My point of view is once this market getting to crowded by tens of competitors, all we can do is pray and enjoy the show. Because it is going to be fun, and it is going to be dirty.

    • MotTramDo.com 4:39 am on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Interesting debate. I see much of our concern so far is whether these copycats will succeed. But how about Facebook reactions. With so many clones it must have done something. An effort to localized facebook had been secretly launched (http://nus.facebook.com/translations/). Will these clones useful for finding oversea friends who are on Facebook? Apparently not.

      However, much of Vietnamese population don’t know about Facebook so the cake is still big for them.

      I would like to let Vietnam locals to know more about all these copycat phenomenon, will love to see your blog and continuing debate on mottramdo.com

    • nam 7:19 pm on February 26, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      FV is a joke! they bought php script for a few bucks and claim fv to be the next big thing? come on get real? i just dont understand how people with MBAs are that naive

      fv is now using a different script which is a lot better but still a light weight php script and there is no way they can scale up

    • David Nguyen 8:52 am on February 27, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Lol, following the line of comments, I can see Nam is working for tamtay.vn 🙂

      This kind of attitude and closed-minded personality is what keep technology in Vietnam so behind with the rest of the world.

      I personally don’t see the need to move anywhere else since my 360 is still working and Yahoo doesn’t seem to close it, but tamtay definitely lose my account 🙂

    • Do Kiet 10:50 am on March 23, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Both guongmat and faceviet bought cheap php script online to copy facebook. Those 2 are exactly the same

    • ANKIM.ORG 3:58 pm on July 9, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Faceviet and guongmat both are located in US and VC Corp’s sites are in vietnam.

    • HarryD 8:59 am on July 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      @AnKim: thanks for sharing the info, but please keep those “clean” from porn or political links otherwise I’ll have problem with censorship circle.

    • PB 1:57 am on November 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Just thought I’d throw another new site into the game, http://www.thegioiban.com. Hosted in the States, has a clean crisp FB style, but not many members. Might only be a matter of time.

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