With an increasing surge of smart phone users in Korea, microblogging services such as Twitter and Me2Day have witnessed rapid increase of active users.  Me2Day, local microblogging service provided by NHN Corp., the company behind Korea’s #1 search engine Naver, is Korea’s answer to Twitter.  Me2Day boasts a beefed up privacy settings compared to Twitter, where a user can ‘follow’ another without approval.  A Me2Day user requires an approval from another in order to start receiving updates.  So how does this change the interaction between users?

Twitter allows for broadcasting of message or news to a wide audience, not necessarily those you know in real life.  As a matter of fact, chances are, more of your followers in Twitter, you never even know in real life.  This is different for Me2Day since users need another’s approval for receiving feeds; higher percentage of links formed between the users originate from existing personal relationships.  This enables strengthening of preexisting relationships between users.  Because of the additional privacy measure of approvals, messages aren’t broadcasted as rapidly to a wider audience as those propagated in Twitter.

Of course, Me2Day accounts can be set so that users can automatically approve incoming follow requests.

Another striking difference between Twitter and Me2Day is that it enables its users to comment on or respond to an entry as one would leave comments on a post of forums or blogs.  This allows for conversation to have longer shelf-life, or more relevance in longer duration of time, as an entry, and its comments do not get lost as easily.

Me2Day was originally started in Feb 207 by Su-man Park, whose company later, in Jan 2009, was acquired by NHN.  Me2Day currently has more than 1 million users, and aims to achieve 5 million user mark by the end of this year.  Me2Day is to introduce additional features such as photo and video uploads, friend suggestions, social games within Me2Day platforms and providing real-time data to Naver search engine.   Upon being questioned as to how Me2Day will stay competitive, Sanghun Kim, CEO of NHN, responded by saying that the company “will localize microblogging service for local Korean users”.  He continued, “there is much potential to be realized in social networking industry; Me2Day certainly has potential to be competitive in a global scale”.

Source

6 Comments

  1. March 8, 2010 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    Good post Richard. I like this discussion. I'm watching it closer than the Oscars, certainly more entertaining :-)Twitter has the same protected updates feature. I don't see that as a real distinguishing feature. The real difference is in the default settings. Me2Day defaults to protected, and Twitter defaults to public. With that in mind, as you said, the default interactions will be different. In fact, it will be used for an entirely different purpose. Whereas Me2Day will work to strengthen existing network connections, Twitter is used to expand your network. The philosophies behind this couldn't be more different.Me2Day is trying to be a destination site, and that should limit it's growth. With the power of Naver (and its huge user-base) behind it, it could still work. In fact, I wouldn't even call it an underdog in the local landscape.I see the next year with Me2Day as very telling of both the direction of tech companies and users in Korea. I look forward to the watching the games 🙂

  2. March 8, 2010 at 3:58 pm — Reply

    Thanks Daniel. I agree with what you said; though users can change the settings that come by default with Twitter and me2DAY, their default settings seed altogether different interaction. You mentioned that me2DAY will be used primarily for strengthening existing relationships. Sure. Also, because of the “accept or deny” privacy feature that me2DAY comes with, users would be less inclined to add strangers, which will only compound to the overall “closedness” of me2DAY. And I also agree with your comment regarding Twitter and me2DAY having different purposes. As a matter of fact, me2DAY users are much younger (teens and early 20s) than users of Twitter (late 20s to 40s, early adopters of technology in general). Two websites are headed in different directions with different user base and different mechanism for spreading messages, with different purposes, across. Thanks for your insight… I have yet to see how they will differentiate and/or whether they are headed for collision course sometime in near future.

  3. March 10, 2010 at 10:56 am — Reply

    interesting take and insights on me2say vs twitter, Dan.What's also striking is how much NHN seems to really be banking on me2day. They have gone VERY commercial with it and really hitting the celebrity angle (which is why its not surprising me2day has a much younger demographic). I've seen me2day branding at the MNET Awards show, and even TV commercials with me2day addresses, and it is prominent on naver's index page (HUGE exposure). it does tie in well with its real time search as well.Keep in mind, Twitter doesn't actively do anything in Korea –with no official presence here– (they have license contract with SK which we should someday see some action out of) but it continues to build loyal followers and tons of third-party services, regardless of its passive efforts.I think Naver is scared. o_0;; *HA! yup. I said it* NHN obviously has big plans for me2day, and these (atypical) pre-emptive efforts are to keep twitter at bay before it misses the boat. Traditionally, NHN likes to wait when it comes to “new” trends (like they did with PPC keyword advertising)… but that that is a death sentence in the “real-time” war.

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