There has been a massive debate in Chinese media, blogosphere about whether Facebook will fit in Chinese users’ taste when it finally lands at China. Unfortunately, from what I read, many of the comments are not positive at Facebook’s Chinese adventure. I even heard of a joke saying that the pronunciation of Facebook in Chinese is similar to Fei Si Bu Ke which written in Chinese could be 非死不可 meaning Doomed to Die. Controversially, the clones of Facebook in China seem evolving quickly and very well. Xiaonei, Yeejee and Hainei are the three very popular ones.
Kevin sent me an invitation to his new product yesterday. This site u.discuz.net is IP authenticated and it is not even open for registration (thanks to team, I managed to log in), but I bet you can recognize immediately what it will be. Yup, it is a Facebook, be precisely a mini-Facebook (I am not quite sure what exactly this produce is called) .
So what we got here. Besides those common top menus Profile, Friends, Message, you also got an Admin menu which leads to a administration panel where you can manage your content in batch, e.g. delete multiple photos you uploaded, change the Theme etc. The applications, it has Mini-blog, Blog and Photos. Recalling what Kevin told me in the interview,
“BBS will not be replaced by SNS and they will not be the competitors to each other either. BBS is a must-to-have application in SNS, at least in China. The features of BBS can help the social network users to exchange their ideas efficiently. On the other hand, SNS is a people-centric networking platform but BBS is a topic-centric platform. SNS is to map the social relationship in real life into the cyber space, which in my opinion is one of the reasons people love Facebook; But BBS is there for users to follow the hottest topics and expand your social experience virtually. In BBS, people goes there because they are interests in the topics, and whom they communicate with are not really matter.”
It is very interesting to see that there is an application called Topics which I would describe it as a mini and special version of BBS. Some ideas in Discuz! are also introduced into this product. For example, you can earn some credits by posting a mini-Blog and you are allowed to use some features when you have enough credits and achieve certain user level.
I don’t know how long it took Kevin’s team to develop this, what it will become in the end and how it will be integrated into Comsenz’ other products (most likely the social networking platform X-Space), the fact is that soon Chinese users will be able to download this mini-Facebook for free! So will we see thousands of (vertical) Facebook-like SNS run by the normal users? What if this product goes open-source? What would be the impact on Xiaonei, Hainei and Facebook? Lots of questions I am eager to see the answers.
Enjoy the screenshot.