Polish Nasza Klasa (nk.pl) and the German VZ-Gruppe are having hard times against the Facebook invasion
In October 2010 Techcrunch spread rumours, that the biggest polish community nasza-klasa might be for sale and that the price is €130m. First of all I would like to clearify some of the numbers, which are mentioned in the techcrunch article.
There is a big discussion going on about the number 27. It’s because it says, that nasza klasa had at its peak 27 milion registered users. To give you some more numbers: Poland has 40 milion citizens and an estimated number of 22,5 milion internet users in 2010 (source: internet world stats). So more registered users than internet users? We know that there are around 2 milion polish citizens living in Chicago (USA) but even if they all register additionally it would be not enough. So yes, registered users are not active users. Moreover nasza-klasa offers the possibility to create company’s profiles. I guess, nk.pl has something between 10 and 13 milion monthly active users and not 13,5 milion like it is mentioned in the techcrunch article. Nevertheless this discussion is not that important anymore as there is a big competitor coming more and more into the market. Facebook is gaining more and more users very fast and is having right now already more than 3 milion users in Poland.
Nasza-klasa, a classmates.com copy is having a hard time. Some time ago nasza-klasa implemented sledzik, the real time friend’s feed into their interface. Moreover it introduced the chat (NKtalk) possiblity as well. It seems like, the company’s strategy is to copy, copy and copy the competitors ideas.
On the other hand the hype around facebook is at its best. Over 500 milion users globally, an international approach, easy applications, monetization tools and a hollywood movie about the Zuckerberg story. Facebook applications are already integrated on all polish portals and many young users merged already from nk because its so much cooler and so much more international. I’m convinced of the fact, that there will be still room for nk in Poland but their users will be the either very young students or older (40+, who registered when nk had the biggest hype) people and will use this interface to stay in touch with their old school friends. Everything inbetween is Facebook territory.
We know this phenomenon in Germany as well when talking about the VZ Gruppe (Studi VZ, Mein VZ, Schüler VZ). There are a lot “Schüler-VZ” users but its hard to merge them later on to the “Mein-VZ” network which is supposed to be for users 25+. These users are migrating more likely to Facebook than to Mein VZ. As we are living in a global environment we need international communities in order to stay in touch and neither Nasza-Klasa nor VZ-Gruppe can offer this in comparison to Facebook.