Yahoo India has lauched SpotM, a social network targeting the Indian market. SpotM is currently in closed beta, and open only to invitees. Ashish Sinha, a Yahoo employee, had mentioned two features of the social networking site on his blog:
— The ability to keep some friends secret from others
— Also the ability to have anonymous conversations.
The mention of these features has since been deleted. We’ve emailed Yahoo India for more on SpotM. Not sure if this is going to help Yahoo acquire new users in India, since Orkut and Facebook are fairly popular, and there are a large number of other social networks vying for that network; Reliance Entertainment has pumped in BIG money into promoting their social networking property BIG Adda, while Indiatimes has launched but just sat on itimes.com . We’ve heard of a revamp of HT Media owned Desimartini.com as well, MySpace has an India site; Rediff perhaps has intentions of converting Sociali into a social network, while Network18 also has community features around its content aggregator in.com. So the social networking space in India, to put it mildly, is crowded.
That doesn’t mean that Yahoo doesn’t have an opportunity, though. Social networking users, historically, have been fickle. It doesn’t take time to switch from one to the other.
Update: A Yahoo India Spokesperson has declined comment, saying that:
“As a global company, Yahoo! encourages each market to innovate for their local audience based on local user needs. Yahoo! India is in the early stages of working on an invitation-only communications experiment for users in the Indian market. We will share additional details about this product if and when we launch it publicly.”
Update: We’re told the news first went live on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s the first tweet from last week.
Disclosure: I own an inconsequential number of shares of Network18