Ibibo, the flagship brand of Naspers and TenCent owned company, MIH India/ Ibibo Group, which started as a social network, and pivoted to a gaming network, is now just a corporate gateway page showcasing the company’s various products including gaming, Tradus, its online marketplace, GoIbibo, the online travel agent, PayU, the company’s payment gateway, automotive focused site Gaadi.com,  ad network Ibibo Ads (formerly AdWinks), and mobile messenger service, WeChat. Hat-Tip: Deepak Abbot.

It also appears that Ibibo now features its other offerings including the social network part, mail, sawaal and SMS communities on the gaming site Games. Ibibo.com at the footer. We’d expect the company to halt these services in the near future, as it appears that it’s focusing majorly on its mainstream web products including the complete suit of products from Naspers and Tencent, outside the Ibibo branding, and Games from the Ibibo stable.

Social & Community products DoA: As we had pointed out in one of our earlier posts, one of the reasons for Ibibo changing its focus from social could be the fact that social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook in particular, have achieved tremendous growth in terms of users and have become much more relevant to advertisers as social platforms. We’ve seen other potential social networks make changes – BigAdda tried becoming an e-commerce venture, and MingleBox became an educational site. In case of ibibo, it is perhaps that after spending many years and – we assume – a lot of money trying several different services (remember the blogger hunts and the talent hunts?) to find something that works, and offers a differentiated set of offerings. Ibibo’s offerings have never really been significantly differentiated: In terms of social networks, Google’s Orkut and Facebook have dominated. E-mail, again was irrelevant, with Google and Yahoo commanding the lion’s share in India. Sawaal, the Q&A platform, was also nothing new, with Rediff and Yahoo also offering similar services. It doesn’t help that, for revenue from these services, it relied primarily on advertising and sponsorship.

Diluting the Ibibo brand & promoting other offerings: So it appears that the company has kind of diluted the Ibibo brand with other products being made the point of focus, which is not surprising as its travel site, GoIbibo, ecommerce marketplace Tradus, and gaming offerings have still managed to get some traction and offer a more direct path to monetization. The focus is also on International products like PayU and WeChat, which are from parent companies Naspers and Tencent. So it’s a move pointing towards the company’s future strategy but we’d have liked a more interactive homepage with dynamic lists, rather than a corporate landing page. For instance, it could feature trending games, or a flight search widget powered by GoIbibo.

Ibibo Is Now A Gaming Network; Offers Zapak Plus