Monthly Archives: November 2012

Social media users in emerging countries want more than just flashy visuals

Brazil and India don’t share much common ground. But, along with the United States, they are the top three markets for Facebook in the world. While more than 156 million Americans have already adopted Mark Zuckerberg’s creation, only recently did almost 100 million Brazilians and Indians migrate from their favourite social media platforms to Facebook. The lack of understanding of the shifts in emerging markets destroyed the Google-owned social network, Orkut.

One important trend for Brazilians and Indians, despite their lack of common ground, is that most of what works online for the South Americans also works for the Asians. One example is Flickr, which became popular in both areas at the same time. Orkut was very powerful in these areas until 2010. When competition from Facebook started, they thought they would have an edge trying to appeal to the millions who left the working-class for the middle-class. Wrong decision.

Dealing with new global players isn’t easy and the consistent dehydration of the first social media platform had everything to do with the increase in the latter. The main reason for that is this: Brazilians and Indians wanted what they thought is fancier. As Orkut got too visual and insisted on using tools to create communities just for fun – a big asset they transformed into something really cheesy – Facebook gave them smartphone apps, a cleaner design and easier ways to post. Now it leads in both markets.

Until recently, Orkut, the creation of a Turkish Google engineer, had 66 million accounts. Almost 70% of those were dominated by users in Brazil and India. After Facebook’s attack the numbers stayed basically the same and the action now going on in the Google-based social media platform is slowing by the hour.

This is a very common mistake by international companies when they try to profit in emerging countries. They think that people want something more local and they assume that people who moved up in life want to bring all their supposed habits to the new level they go to. Not the case.

Orkut is now the third biggest social media in Brazil, after Facebook and YouTube. In India, it is second to Facebook. Operating with new players means stepping-up your product, not making lame visuals so they supposedly attract people who never used them.

Originally posted in the Interhacktives blog.


Adriano’s disgrace: final stop to the Emperor’s career?

Pelé says footballers die twice: on the day they actually leave this planet and on the second they hang their boots. If that is true, very few players know what death is like more than Adriano. This week he hinted he would go to the grave for the second time, after struggling with his weight and lacking any interest for professionalism. He also said he would like to come back from the dead in 2013, but no one seemed to believe the former Inter Milan star. A 30-year-old-man who got so far from reality he was reported to have skipped physiotherapy sessions in his own house in Rio de Janeiro.
He was supposed to play for Flamengo, the most popular Brazilian club. It is the place where he showed all his finishing power for the first time, in 2000. It is also where proved he was still useful on the pitch, in distant 2009, after misleading the Italians with a “break from football”. But his time the red and black cariocas were so distrustful of him they offered a contract with no pay until he was in action.Adriano gave up on them first, five months after signing up. The problems were the same he had since after the 2006 World Cup: too much drinking and too much clubbing to try to forget this father’s death. At least that is what some his friends say.
This was already regarded in Brazil as a last opportunity for Adriano. In the beginning of 2012 he left South American champions Corinthians because of same trouble prone attitude. The paulista club gave him his last highlight on the pitch exactly one year ago, when he scored the winner in a match that put the team close to the Brazilian league title it would win. It was his first goal after almost two years. He scored another in the beginning of this year. And that was the last sight of him on the pitch.
Football pundits have said for many years Adriano is the natural heir to Ronaldo. They assure he would be perfect for Brazil’s number 9 during the 2014 World Cup. They defended clubs didn’t give up on him. Adriano never cared about their opinions. His likely retirement is bad news for the hosts, who will have to bet on a team without any feared reference in the penalty box. It is even worse for the man. The Emperor seems to be dead. And the human being sadly isn’t that far of heading in the same direction.