Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce and so on, what is the impact of these emerging Instant-Messaging or Non-Instant-Messaging on the traditional IM markets. Particularly if we discuss this topic in the context of Chinese market, the question would equal to What can Tencent (owner of QQ) learn from these new Internet messaging approaches. I have been thinking of a post open for discussion with our readers for a few days, but early this week, I realized that Tencent had given me an answer (not a perfect one, yet).
Taotao.com, Tencent’s brand new web2.0 experience has been revealed several days ago. It is a Twitter-like service. Thanks to QQ, now Taotao’s users are able to send the taotao-messages from a mobile and receive them on QQ. Right after I read the news, I dropped an email to Richard, the Director of Tencent’s Innovation Center (QQ Labs) and asked if it was him and his team behind Taotao. He confirmed it and also emphasized that he’s pretty sure Taotao.com would be another success web2.0 trial (with QQ Bookmark). Richard also mentioned QQ Bookmark had quietly launched its English version.
So Tencent has learned the trend, quickly. What’s more I expect from QQ? More Pownce-like probably? Personally, I think QQ is getting far too complex (well, Tencent’s business model is IM-centric, so QQ has to bundle everything). Pownce is not popular yet, I am not sure if it will be in the end either. But I love one of the concept Pownce introduces to us, I call it pre-categorized message or pre-formatted message. In Pownce, in Text, Link and Event, the message is pre-formatted (pre-categorized), clear and self-explained.
What I dislike? It is QQ’s authentication system? In order to access any Tencent’s online service, you have to have a QQ ID (a serials of digits instead of a username, e.g. 32538972) and you have to manually input a string read from an image for verification due to the change of QQ’s protocol several months ago. I understand that QQ has 224+ million active users and QQ is doing its best to reduce the security risk, but I do think the current solution will hinder QQ’s growing in future if Tencent is seriously thinking of expanding its kingdom through the web.
So what do you learn from Tencent’s web2.0?