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The Largest Social Network You’ve Never Heard Of(2)

更新时间:2012-08-22    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

An Unseen Giant?

While YY.com’s innovative business model is intriguing, their lack of exposure in the Western media is somewhat puzzling.

If recent reports are accurate, YY has just as many active users as Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter-like service) and has twice as many active users as RenRen (China’s equivalent of Facebook). However, while RenRen and Sina Weibo have been consistently covered in western media outlets, YY doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry. Other than one Founders Stories video with TechCrunch and one article in Forbes a month ago, YY hasn’t gotten any mainstream media coverage in the West. How does a site that has more registered users than Google+ and Pinterest combined stay under the radar for this long?

While the answer to that question is not entirely clear, it appears that part of the explanation lies in China’s socioeconomic divide.

YY has many similarities with QQ, also known as “Tencent”, a popular Chinese social network/messaging service. Both sites target a broad, low income population within China, rather than the rising middle class. Sites which target China’s middle and upper-middle classes apparently get more press coverage than sites that focus on lower income demographics.

Search Results for YY and YY.com on the english language version of Wikipedia come up blank.

What will become of YY?

Unfortunately, in spite of its massive user base and innovative video functionality, YY’s future remains unclear. According to China watcher and Tea Leaf Nation blogger Elizabeth Carter:

“[F]rom discussions I’m reading, some netizens have said they doubt that YY can succeed, even if it has good ideas, because Tencent is so powerful. My take is that Tencent is like Google in this situation, in that Google can almost always either acquire such a competitor or develop its own version of whatever service is being provided to drive the less-powerful competitor out of the market.”

Furthermore, new video regulations from Chinese state administrators could further dampen the Chinese business environment and limit the scope of YY’s operations.

And what of its future elsewhere; say, in the US market?

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