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Hoonur.com, the talent search platform launched last year by Balaji Telefilms has relaunched itself as a social network. In its previous avatar, Hoonur allowed users looking for jobs in the TV industry, and showcase their portfolio online, and was similar to a job portal. The current format goes beyond a job portal, and allows talent seekers to connect with each other. In addition, Hoonur has launched celebrity profiles, featuring TV stars: Karan Kundra, Kritika Kamra, Arjun Bijlani , Binny Sharma, Nishant Malkani and Shilpa Anand have signed up exclusively with Hoonur.

While there is little differentiation in bringing celebrities on to a social network anymore (they’re on Twitter, iTimes*, BigAdda, ibibo… everywhere), on Hoonur, it would be a means to an end: celebrities on a talent showcase platform would help attract jobseekers. Additionally, jobseekers can get their own vanity URL, and choose to follow stars and production houses for updates on casting calls and shows. It’s far more comprehensive than what Hoonur was in its initial format. Remember that Balaji Telefilms is among India’s most successful TV production houses.

From a user perspective, Hoonur is now trying to allow them to create their personal brand, with personalized pages, (background themes and colors), multimedia showcase, fans, friends, popularity meter, vital statistics, recommendations, etc. The personalization element, as well as the opportunity to interact with stars is an approach similar to what made MySpace big, even though that more was about bands and music. For Indian users brought up on Orkut and Facebook, and with few avenues to showcase their talent, this could well grow. Scale will be tricky: Hoonur will be hard pressed, though, to bring users not looking for a job in the entertainment business on board.

And there is competition: We weren’t aware of this, but last year, K Sera Sera entertainment also launched their entertainment talent network.

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