Intervista sul fenomeno del social network con Net

By | 6 March 2008

1) Let’s quickly introduce yourself Mr. Karel and your company

As a marketing assistant I am responsible for all the marketing in Belgium and Italy. Netlog is an online social portal specifically targeted at the European youth. It is developed by Netlog NV, the Belgium-based publisher of popular online social media. On Netlog, members can create their own web page, extend their social network, publish their music playlists, share photos and videos, post blogs, join groups called ‘clans’ and much more. It is the ultimate tool for young Europeans to connect and communicate with their social network.

2) NetLog, just another social network site?

Netlog is certainly not “just another network site”. It is the largest pan-European community website with more than 33 million members and 4,5 billion pageviews throughout Europe. Our biggest strength is our local approach. We created seperate websites for each language, so users can feel at home and understand each other. Larger community websites such as Myspace and Facebook are slowly understanding the importance of language in the European market. Netlog is currently available in thirteen languages – English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finish, Romanian and Turkish – with all other European languages to be added in the near future.

3) Some actual numbers of NetLog, “backend” (no. employees, no. servers, etc.) and “frontend” (no. subscriptions, search engine popularity/position, etc…)

The Netlog team is based in Gent (Belgium) and consist of about 40 people, but the company is growing extremely fast. We have over 700 servers in our datacentre that allow over 5 Gb/sec of internet traffic. As mentioned before, we have over 33 million confirmed registrations worldwide. In Italy specifically, we have 1,82 million users that generate over 600 million pageviews per month.

4) Why many people interested in social network? We see always a growth during these years

In my opinion, online social networking is popular because of two reasons. First of all, people want to express themselves. Especially younger people, who are still looking for their own identity want to be noticed by their peers. A second reason is that people want to belong to a group. And because of websites such as Netlog it is realy easy to meet new people and make friends.

5) By developing side if im not wrong NetLog has been one of the first, if not the first, social networking site using new web technologies (so called “web 2.0”), why that choose? A “trendy”?

Netlog has always been an innovator, also with the Web 2.0 principle. The founders have been active in online social networking since 2000, long before Facebook even existed. It has always been the goal of Netlog to create not just another community website, but a true digital platform for your personal life.

6) The pro of NetLog vs other famous social network sites (Facebook, Badoo, Myspace)

The main difference with other community websites is our localised approach by language. Netlog also has a very clean and intuitive layout and a easy profile navigation, this is for example not the case with Myspace. Facebook also has a clean design, but there are way too many applications because of their open API. You get spammed by your own friends, because you always have to install the applications that you are invited to. In terms of unique daily visitors Myspace is still number one in Italy, but we are much bigger that Facebook. Badoo is also very popular and they have about the same size as Netlog in Italy.

7) What’s the “core-business” of NetLog? (Advertising?)

As netlog is a free service, we make revenue by advertising.

8 ) In your opinion where will go social networking? And about NetLog?

In my opinion, online social networking will only get bigger. Even in Belgium, where we are market leader and even the biggest overall website in terms of pageviews, we are still growing extremely fast. I believe that there will be a lot of mergers and acquisitions in the near future as the market is getting mature and I also believe that Netlog will come out as one of the biggest players, next to Myspace and Facebook.

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