This is a repost from a discussion with my friends on Facebook.
- Forums still account for 65% online activities in Vietnam. Sources: two internet market research teams and their figures seem to match.
- Forum allows or even promotes anonymity which many East Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese) users prefer.
- Forum is content-focused so posters on forums feel they can blend in the crowd, a behavior collectivistic Vietnamese prefer.
- Some vertical forums are very deep: WebTreTho.com on mon & baby care, Otofun on vehicles, vOz on IT and gossip… Deep: quality of content, online ad inventory, and engagement of respective communities.
Below is the Vietnamese version of my presentation at Open Consultant offline December 2011 on Vietnam e-Commerce Outlook in 2012.
Click here to read my English version. Please note that the English version is more updated.
- Vietnamese users like colorful, emotional, right-brain products. Twitter is analytical, left-brain. Right-brain: Tumblr, daily life, emotional messages, visual.
- Vietnamese users are unfamiliar with Follow, and have no incentive to learn the concept.
- Twitter is individualistic while Vietnamese in general are collectivistic.
- Vietnamese users haven’t had the need to follow influencers. In fact, many social influencers are not tech-savvy. Early Twitter adopters are geeks and online marketers who are not appealing to mass users.
- Vietnamese sentences are longer than those of English, on average.
- Early adopters started to use Twitter in 2007-2008 when smartphones were costly to mass users. When smartphones are much cheaper now, Vietnam Twitter is deserted. Also, it took too long for mimo.vn to roll out SMS service.
- Twitter offers no gamification.
Would Weibo clones do any better than the wave of dead Twitter clones in 2008? We’ll see.
Twitter-like services have 2 usages: status update and micro-blogging.
1. As I clearly stated in my previous slide, it’s safe to drop the term “micro-blog” for discussions in Vietnamese context. That leaves status updates which is a highly desirable feature among Vietnamese users.
2. I gave a wow to LinkHay’s blast collection feature. My impression that it was a Twitter clones killer.
3. A closer glance into Ola Me reveals that it is more than a Twitter clone
- ASAO, the company behind Ola, has the capability to build alliance(s) that offer SMS incentive to users
- Which means values to users are tangible and can be quantified
- And the differentiation is in terms of quality of Service, more than that of Product
4. Two channels to keep track of Twitter usage growth in Vietnam: the Facebook group ‘Twitter Community in Vietnam’ and the Twitter account @twitvietnam.
In terms of (relatively) measurable quality, check out the Grader’s list.