Based in Shanghai, 5j5x is another Chinese family-centered social network aims to help users share their life with relatives and friends.
Many of us believe Social Networks are the big things in modern Internet, but the fact we have to be aware of is that the majority of users never or seldom contact their family members through Facebook, Linkedin or other popular social networks. So can we expect the Family-Centered Social Networks will get popular one day? It is probably just a matter of time.
Mail and phone call were the only ways to connect my friends when I left my home town almost 12 years ago. When Internet is available in campus, I started using QQ regularly. I also registered a couple of email addresses on different service providers, but never really used them until I had a Hotmail account, thanks to the Instant Messenger, MSN. I have to say the Internet life was pretty simple, reading news, checking emails and chatting with friends on IMs. There was one site called 5460.net I used to log in daily to check the status of my classmates, although at that time nobody regarded 5460 as a social networking web site. Now, the Internet is getting much more complicated and of course has more fun. I am a user of google, facebook, twitter, linkedin, hainei and many others, and I use linkedin’s InMail, follow people’s tweets, use facebook’s web-based IM and so on. It took over 10 years for us to recognize that Social Networks might be the core service in future. The Internet is fast evolving and more and more accepted by people at different age, I think we have the reasons and need the patience to believe that life will be shared online with the family too.
What I like 5j5x is not the product itself, is the insight to the Chinese Internet they have. Trier Wang, the managing director of 5j5x says in his email:
When the second generation of Chinese netizen grows up, we believe family-centered social networks will be accepted as an efficient way to connect family members as well as friends. We also believe that in several years, Chinese web will be more mature, and becomes more life-centric than entertainment-centric.
We have talked about several similar services in this Family Tree market. Geni, MyHeritage and Kindo have great products and different focus, unfortunately they have not leveraged their strengh to fit into Chinese market; 5j5x has to face head-to-head competition with Famioo which also adopts the concept of ‘Family’ in Chinese: “All men are brothers”, although they have different ideas to implement it.