Guangzhou based CityIN.com, a nicely designed new Social Network site is publicly launched today. Three interesting features, QQ IM Contact Import, QR-Code and User Taste Learning are integrated into this version:
1. QQ IM Contact Import
Contacts import feature is important to help users organizing and connecting with their friends on a SNS. Like many other SNS, the user in CityIN can import their contact from Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc. As the majority of Chinese use solely the local IM product – QQ, which has a proprietary protocol, CityIN is one of the VERY few, if not the only, SNS that support QQ contact importing.
2. The first SNS adopting QR Code Technology
The QR Code can be used not only to subscribe a RSS feed, but also to allow users to store social events information into their mobile phone easily. CityIN generates a QR code image for each user-created social events, so visitors just need to scan the QR image with their mobile phone camera, and at maximum 4296 English characters (which is more than 1000 Chinese characters) will be read and input into their phone.
3. Learns user’s taste
When users browse through items listed under ‘Interests’, they can choose or add anything they like, e.g. a movie, a car brand or a celebrity. They can rate these items and see the ratings given by their friends or schoolmates. Users are then recommended to make friends with people who share similar interests and backgrounds locally, rate other interests which they may also like, or join local events that they may enjoy.
There are many copycats in Chinese SNS market, CityIN definitely is one of few exceptions. The features are good, but I think the question CityIN has to solve quickly is that how to make the best of those features and also improve the user experience. For me, there is just too much on my page and I don’t really know what to do first and how to use the features properly.
CityIN is founded by two young men Simon Chan and Alex Tam. Simon also founded Wazhua in 2007. The company is angel funded by Dr. Samson Tam in early 2007. Dr. Tam invented the first electronic Chinese-English Dictionary Device and is a chairman of a listed company in Hong Kong. CityIN has 11 employees and its main operation office is now set up in Guangzhou.
“We know clearly what the Chinese users need. I’m sure that CityIN is going to be the market leader, because we, the team of average age 24, have the ability to provide fresh experiences to Asian users through innovative breakthroughs.”, Simon said.