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The Largest Social Network You’ve Never Heard Of

更新时间:2012-08-22    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

The story of a tech giant overlooked by the West raises questions about streaming video, virtual currency, the digital divide, and how people use the Internet in other countries.

Ross Slutsky | Washington DC 

 

YY

Screen capture from YY.com

310 million registered users. Up to 8.45 million people using the site concurrently. 421 billion minutes of voice transferred in 2011. The potential for one video to be seen by millions of viewers.

Impressive stats for a sophisticated, video-enabled digital social network. The question is: which site could it be? YouTube? Facebook? Skype? Google Hangouts?

Nope.

These are the accomplishments of Chinese social network YY.com, which takes virtual currency and streaming video to heights not yet reached by Western social networks. On YY, users can play games, talk to their friends, or use virtual coins for social deals à la Groupon.

But what really makes YY standout is the fact that it has a built in system that enables site users to earn real profit. Top karaoke singers regularly make $20,000 per month off of virtual gifts, with one college student reportedly earning an astonishing $188,000 per month by using the site to give Photoshop lessons. All by trading roses.

virtual rose

YY allows users to use virtual roses as tickets to access live content from their favorite artists and teachers.

Here’s how it works. Say you have some type of talent; perhaps you’re a tech savvy musician or passable karaoke singer. To make money on YY, you create an artist account, put up some of your songs, and hopefully develop a following. After building up a respectable fan base, you could even schedule a live concert on the site, and for the price of one “virtual rose”, your followers would be able to watch the performance and interact with others attending the concert via video and chat. After the concert, you would be able to exchange your hard-earned virtual roses for real money.

While virtual tickets for streaming events sounds like a simple concept, there is no successful Western equivalent to YY. Western tech firms have been using virtual currency systems for years, but these systems have primarily been used in online games, rather than real world applications. The YY business model could revolutionize the way that Western musicians and educators distribute their content online.

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