Dramatic change has occurred within the social media industry in Vietnam. This article will provide a basic overview of Zing Me, which was once a popular social network in Vietnam, and how it failed in Vietnam.
In 2009, Zing Me was born and it became the most powerful social network in Vietnam. Besides Zing Me, there were other social networks that were built to keep up with social network trend: Go.vn, Yume.vn to name a few.
Zing Me, which is a branch of Zing and owned by VNG group, was the most brilliant candidate to compete with Facebook in those early days. Before landing in Vietnam, Facebook defeated many competitors to become the No. 1 social network in global markets.
However, Facebook felt in Vietnam, it could not compete with Zing Me. In 2009, Zing Me proudly announced the number of Zing Me users was 945,000 while the number of Facebook users was 918,000. In December 2011, Facebook climbed up to the top list of social networks with the largest number of users. According to the research by We Are Social, in October of 2012, Facebook had 8.5 million users and defeated Zing Me which had 8.2 million users.
Since 2013, Facebook has been growing rapidly in Vietnam market.
Many social network pages in Vietnam were built up with the purpose to compete with Facebook but none of them made their dream come true. There are many reasons for the failure of social network in Vietnam, particularly Zing Me.
When Zing Me was first introduced to public, its interface was unimpressive. People said Zing Me is a perfect copy-cat version of Facebook. It was thought that Zing Me is the Vietnamese version that Facebook created for Vietnam market. There were times when Zing me had more users than Facebook. However, Facebook continuously updates its interface and adds new features to bring the best experience for users. While Zing Me just copies what Facebook has already achieved. At this point, Zing Me lost their users’ trust.
It was once thought that because Zing Me is a “made in Vietnam” product, that Vietnamese would naturally flock to it. But actually, it turns out that advantage did not bring the influence as many people hoped it would. The demand of connecting people has no boundaries, especially in Vietnam – where trends around the world are warmly welcomed and quickly adopted by many young people. Therefore, you cannot ask them to connect with other people within local area. Young Vietnamese people want to make friends around the world. That is a major selling point of a social network.
According to statistics from Alexa, last year, most of Zing Me users now use Zing to listen to music, read news and play games. The number of people accessing to Zing Me is up around 14 percent. Zing Me has returned to its basic feature and strength which was a place for gamers and its target users now are teenagers and gamers. Though Zing Me owns the largest number of gamers in Vietnam, it still struggles to take that as an advantage to develop its social network.
In general, it could be said that Vietnam’s social network market is now taken over by global brands, such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr, among others. According to the latest statistics from Facebook, the number of users in Vietnam is more than 30 million. From the failure of Zing Me, we can draw the conclusion that as the market changes user expectations also change, and grow. The advice for Vietnam social networks is that they should know how to innovate their products and embrace creativity to keep up with the rapidly developing market.
The other way is to change your strategy or target audiences. Zing Me has narrowed down its target audiences to teenagers and gamers. This can make it possible for Zing Me to survive in the market. As Zing Me is owned and operated by VNG – the largest game producer in Vietnam, there is hope for Zing Me in another part of the market. But for social networks, it looks like Facebook has won in Vietnam.