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The social media space in India is not just about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other  global platforms. Homegrown players abound too. While they may not have achieved the scale of their Western peers, they do have a following. Some of them will grow, others will, over time, get acquired, and a few will just drop out. Here is a lowdown on a few local heroes  By Vishal Krishna

Rocketalk: Around since 2009, it is one of the oldest social media apps with 19 million users. The app allows chatting, audio and video sharing. Currently available in over 1,000 handsets, RockeTalk is highly sought after in emerging markets where smartphones have not yet taken off, with India being its largest market. The company is funded by California-based Mission Ventures.

NGO Post: It is a social networking site that allows NGOs and individuals to share and discuss various social welfare issues. Funded by a charitable trust, Sewa Bharti Nidhi, NGO Post’s revenue model has been self-sustaining for the past seven years.

Fropper: Primarily a dating site, this social networking platform has more than four million users. Fropper.com allows users to search for people by entering keywords such as interests and location. Users can interact with their finds, share photos, videos and music, and play games with them.This site can also be used for blogging. Users have the option of customising their social page to their taste.

Ibibo: Now an e-commerce and online transactions platform owned by South African media group Naspers, Ibibo was created to discover talent. The blogging platform allowed users to create and share videos. Ibibo, which is also India’s biggest gaming site, has three million users across the world.

Antezen: It is yet another social hiring platform. It helps match the needs of the hiring manager with a list of professionals who are not only interested in the job but come with referrals from a network of co-workers. The Bangalore-based startup was founded by former Qualcomm employees in 2011.

BharatStudent: Predominantly for students, this 2.5-million-member-strong social networking site allows users to make friends, review schools, meet entrepreneurs, find jobs and more. The six-year-old portal is a one-stop shop for young users; they can find cricket updates, play games and recharge mobiles among other things.

PoolWo: What started as a social networking platform for Malayalees is fast turning into an infotainment website. The portal has links to popular newspapers across the world and provides constant news updates from 65 countries. It offers a bouquet of other features such as links to access platforms for photos, videos, music, artists, blogs, job search, events and e-cards, among others.

SportsWave: A great platform for sports enthusiasts. Members interested in playing a sport have to pick one, specify their skill level and availability, and the rest is taken care of by SportsWave. From sports equipment to playground to team players, it makes all arrangements. The member has to just show up and play. Some companies now use this platform to organise corporate tournaments. Started in 2012, the Gurgaon-based sports company has more than 50 corporate teams using its services.

WorldFloat: A news- and entertainment-based social networking site, it boasts of 45 million users. It has a feature called ‘viralx’ that provides real-time access to videos shared on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

HireRabbit: There is no end to social hiring platforms in India. One of the fastest growing social platforms, HireRabbit helps businesses build job portals on Facebook.

RoundOne: Another platform that connects professionals is gaining popularity in the cities of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Airtel’s Hike: Started by a member of the Bharti family, social messaging app Hike is promoted on handsets of all brands that have Airtel as their choice of telecom carrier. The app aims to take on WhatsApp.

ApnaCircle: It is one of India’s first professional networking sites. Founded in 2007, it was acquired by Paris-based professional social network Viadeo, which boasts of 55 million users. 

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 30-06-2014) ]]>