Saturday, 09 Sep 2006:
HumSubka.com is hoping to take social networking to a new realm. Launched in the last week of May 2006, HumSubka.com is a new social networking website on the block with a refreshing look and loads of features to attract people of all ages and interests. With an ever increasing number of users, HumSubka.com targets to have 1 million users by the end of this financial year.
HumSubka is a virtual world within itself. The centerpiece is the Personalized-Home-Page - a member's virtual 'Personality-Reflection'. A registered user creates a Personal Web Page or "mini-home", on the site and sends invitation to other people to join him/her online. New members repeat the process, hence, increasing the number of people in the circle. At the Personalized-Home-Page, users fill out their profile information, share their photo gallery, maintain blogs, create Forums & Groups, and even chat with friends that are online.
"Once Indians see the value of HumSubka, they'll make sure their friends and families use it," said Avnish Saxena, VP, Marketing and Sales of HumSubka, who himself shares his family photographs through the website with his friends across the globe. "We're here to build a meaningful, good community of Indians", he added.
HumSubka's development center is located in Delhi and is promoted and privately funded by a US based company in California. Still in its beta version, the site has already been bookmarked by thousands of users across the globe.
Anil Jindal, CEO of LAN Services L.L.C. and one of the promoters of HumSubka, acclaimed, "This site will be an online hub for Indians across the globe with user-generated content, where a user can create content, share his profile and connect with others who love his personality traits."
Critics question how an Indian company with fewer than 10 employees can compete against social networking giants like MySpace, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which has more than 100 million member profiles, or Facebook, which as more than 7.5 million members in high schools and colleges.
Even if it catches on with its target audience of people in their late teens, business experts say HumSubka, like Friendster or Hi5, could be eclipsed by a trendier site in the crowded social networking niche.
"If we tried to create a Yankee-Doodle-and-NASCAR site, it would be a big mistake," said Avnish Saxena, "Our marching orders are to create a global site. India is so multi-cultural that if we can make it here we would have a scalable model that could be embraced in Europe and elsewhere."
"A social network is a social structure made of nodes which are generally individuals or organizations. It indicates the ways in which they are connected through various social familiarities ranging from casual acquaintance to close familial bonds", said Mr. Jindal in an Interview recently. "This is a phenomenon we're seeing not only in the U.S., but also around the world. The challenge for social networking sites will now be monetization and how advertisers will respond to the global marketing potential of these sites."
Social networks can also be organized around business connections, as for example in the case of HumSubka. It provides business community a full web page, with no charges, to display and market their products and services with unlimited pictures and features description. Above all, the advertising companies can now develop the audio & video clips about their products and upload the same under their respective public profile page to promote a particular brand. This would certainly reduce the advertising cost and will boost the awareness amongst the web surfers for the brands available in the market. Social networking websites, like HumSubka, have initiated a revolution in the advertising world by providing a lucrative and cost effective medium for the small as well as medium scale businesses.