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  1. #1
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I was surprised to see Russia's vKontakte - that has always been an almost exact replica of Facebook - in Alexa's Global Top 500 Sites , and not only the "top 500", but only two positions lower than Amazon itself:


    It appears that vKontakte.ru is not the only Facebok clone. Germany has its StudiVZ (sold in 2007 for 100 million; more here), China has its Xiaonei... I'm sure there are others.

    When I logged into my Facebook account from Russia after half a year in the States, it asked me if I want to switch to Russian. Aha! So I go to "Account" > "Language", and I see that it supports 19 languages other than English now! Nice. I've played with it a bit (it is very well localized indeed), and switched back to English for now. Per Facebook "63 languages are currently open for translation by the Facebook community". So members are helping localize it.

    Does this mean that we will be hearing more about lawsuits against the "clones" in the nearest future. Forbes wrote on this a month ago.

    G.

  2. #2
    Newbie motivebrendan's Avatar
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    i don't think there will be much anyone can do if the clones sites stay out of the US market - just to expensive, hard to enforce , and not much of a risk to the US based sites. With that said - clone sites are bad, ugly and a playground for unethical marketing practices!

  3. #3
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    I think you would run into problems when you borrow the look and feel like the one in China did -

    "Xiaonei closely mimics Palo Alto, Calif.-based Facebook's blue and white design, and the site's founder, Wang Xing, told Forbes.com in June that he "borrowed" Facebook's design when he created the site in 2005."

    But if you have your own look and feel, which you should have anyway, you can still have many of the same features and it wouldn't be a problem. Taking a look at that one in China - http://www.xiaonei.com/ and compare it to Facebook, chinese langauge site - http://zh-tw.facebook.com/ very similar.

  4. #4
    Newbie krutoi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geno Prussakov
    I was surprised to see Russia's vKontakte - that has always been an almost exact replica of Facebook - in Alexa's Global Top 500 Sites , and not only the "top 500", but only two positions lower than Amazon itself
    Seems there is an (unfounded?) rumor or feeling in Moscow that vKontakte was written by some subset of the folks who wrote the FB platform. This comes from my 16 y.o. daughter and her "krug", or circle of friends there. Probably no basis in truth, but I guess anything is possible.

    Interesting that Одноклассники.ru is way down near 50 -- seems like the two should be closer in the ratings considering everyone I know in Russia uses both.

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