21 Jan

This week, I checked out ibibo, a social networking site targeted primarily towards India’s netizens. At first, I thought that this is similar to facebook, but later found some key differences.

  • ibibo depends heavily on pre-cooked applications (blogs, photos, polls, yada, yada) and facebook has a rich set of user or group contributed applications.
  • facebook gives you a feel of being event driven and ibibo gives you a feel of conversation/content driven, mostly due to blogs, questions and polls.
  • facebook seems to be exploring an individual’s prior contacts, but ibibo’s contact building (at least for now) seems to be pretty random.

I haven’t explored ibibo much (yet), but there are already a few positive things I can tell, when compared to other community/networking sites.

  • Their photo uploading interface is lot better. You can upload a single photo at a time using the “browse” selection or launch a Java applet to upload a large number of photos at once. This works fine on all platforms including Linux and OpenSolaris, making life easy for power sharers. I am usually irked when I have to upload lot of photos at once to other photo sharing sites from a Unix based desktop.
  • The account comes with built in blog interface. I am surprised to see a bunch of frequent bloggers. There is a bloggers hall of fame!
  • Lot of applications are tuned to Indian scenarios (like searches and polls based on India current affairs, location specific Q&A, etc.) For example, a question like “How do I reach Taj Banjara Hotel in Hyderabad?”. India’s maps or search engines are not yet detailed enough for answering such questions.

Overall, this is a site worth exploring, especially if you are in India or know the Indian scenarios.

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