VietNamNet Bridge – In 2012, or three years after the day Vietnamese Zing Me
announced it left Facebook behind in September 2009, Vietnam witnessed the
enthronement of the foreign big social network in Vietnam.
Facebook officially outstrips Zing Me in number of members
Phan Anh Tuan, Deputy Director of VTC Online, has quoted the figures from Com
Score as saying that by the end of 2012, the number of Facebook’s members had
reached 10 million, or double that of the same period of 2011.
Tuan said the increase in the number of Facebook’s members was “beyond Go.vn’s
prediction.” “This shows that Vietnamese social networks like Zing Me or Go.vn
have been left behind, and that if they do not change their development
strategy, they would not have the positions in the social network market,” Tuan
Go.vn, for example, has been trying to avoid a direct confrontation with
Facebook to be able to exist on the market. The network has shifted from a
social network based on friend connectivity to a network based on educational
content, films, music and TV.
The owner of Go.vn hopes that by going that way, Go.vn would be able to live
together “in peace” with Facebook. Users can access Facebook to connect with
friends or update information about friends, but they would also be able to
access Go.vn to use suitable content services, or exchange views with friends on
Le Hong Minh, General Director of VNG wrote on his blog that in fact, the
outdistancing of Facebook over Zing Me was predicted two years ago.
When asked about the ways VNG would follow in the time to come, a senior
executive of VNG said Zing Me plans to gradually become a user platform, where
the users and the third partners have “symbiosis” relations, while Zing Me would
play the role of the intermediaries.
The market would be hot in 2013
Tuan has noted that in 2012, with the rapid increase in the number of smart
phone users in Vietnam and the economic recession, people tent to use the
software pieces allowing to make free messages via Internet (OTT), such as
Facebook Messenger, Line, Kakao Talk, Zalo instead of the traditional SMS
service. VTC Online would also join the market in the time to come.
The senior executive of VNG went on to say that in 2012, not only upgrading Zing
Me apps on iOS, Android and other platforms (Zing Me has 2 million mobile users
every month), VNG gathered strength on developing Zalo, its free messaging app.
Prior to that, VNG decided that Zalo would be like a version of Zing Me for
mobile devices. However, it later changed its mind and decided that Zalo would
be an independent app from Zing Me.
An expert said that by nature, WhatsApp, Viber are the mobile social networks,
not simply the apps for messaging or making calls free of charge via Internet.
Therefore, Vietnamese enterprises would be inferior to them, the same thing
which has happed with Facebook and Zing Me, or Go.vn.
Therefore, in order to ensure the security and prevent risks, the watchdog
agencies should apply the policy which supports the development of domestically
made OTT apps. If so, Vietnamese enterprises would be able to develop the
software pieces with the same high quality.
According to Com Score, by October 2012, with 8.5 million members, Facebook had
outstripped Zing Me (8.2 million) to become the social network with the highest
number of members in Vietnam.