Singterest, Myterest or Thaiterest – The SouthEast Asia Pinterest Clones

Yesterday, SGEntrepreneur puts up an article about Singapore’s very own Pintertest clone and that sparked much debate on the web.

https://twitter.com/#!/dchieng/status/184208017603039232

https://twitter.com/#!/darrellzhang/status/184107905463762945

The debate was surrounding the fact that Singterest had everything copied from the UI to the colors and even the same tag line. (See below)

Hey, you might be wondering this is a clone what do you expect? Or there are even more pinterest clone in China.

But even clones in China make an effort to change their fonts and colors to differentiate themselves

But what really sparks me to write this post is really asking is there really a need for a localize Pinboard? And to look from a business angle, is there an opportunity that Singterest be brought up by Pinterest?

https://twitter.com/#!/longadin/status/184213533381238784

I believe the situation is very much different for Beeconomic because Groupon needed a local sales team to interact with the merchants and to do that they can set up its own sales force or just buy up a clone (provided it has a large base of users)

On the other end, to me Pinterest is just a platform that reaches the end users directly. They can be located in US and still get users in Singapore. It’s sharing of beautiful images and discovery of new interesting products is definitely addictive. Even if I was to discover something I really like and wanted to purchase I can easily ship it over. Unless, (this is just my random thoughts) Pinterest is looking to do something with our local merchants or even blogshops than that will be a different story altogether.

Also for clones, I think for clones to be successful maybe we can look at the demographic as well. Chinese clones are successful maybe because their national is chinese and having the site in chinese makes it easier. Singapore, we are able to accept English language so we can easily pick up sites like facebook, twitter or even Pinterest itself. Having a clone for Pinterest in Singapore might not standout but maybe having a Pinterest clone in Malaysia or Thailand may work? A myterest.my in malay and a thaiterest.th in Thai?

So what do you think? I like to hear from fellow entrepreneurs 😀 Let’s put the carbon copy issue aside first and let’s talk

is there really a need for a localize Pinboard?

is there an opportunity that Singterest be brought up by Pinterest?

Update 28 March 2012

singterest.sg new look instead of the carbon copy 😀

Relevant Article

http://idea-stack.blogspot.com/2012/02/16-pinterest-clones-in-china-and-mores.html

http://jackyyapp.com/2012/03/26/pinterest-ripoff/#comment-522

https://www.readability.com/articles/z1hfffsw

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7 thoughts on “Singterest, Myterest or Thaiterest – The SouthEast Asia Pinterest Clones

  1. Its interesting how much attention Pinterest is getting nowadays, given the fact that in most part, during its first year of launch, very few people paid attention to it or thought much of it. As much as the Startup world in Asia obsesses with monetization, Pinterest, as with many prominent Startups, is still struggling with the answer to that question.

    In terms of localization, I believe there is always a need. More so when you explore building real businesses, and earning real money from your product. That is why Facebook, Google and even Living Social has a presence in countries where they could still reach users digitally. Sales, and building a business eco-system eventually requires presence. On top of that, tweaking the product to cater to local nuances requires someone to be on the ground.

    For Pinterest, they were “experiementing” with Skymlinks to monetize. For a portion of the images users pinned, they would replace those links and connect those images to real e-commerce sites selling those actual products. Pinterest and Skymlinks would then make some money pointing traffic and referring a transaction.

    Given how fragmented the e-commerce space in Asia is, as well as the recent rise in blogshops, it is not unthinkable that if Pinterest was looking towards Asia, it would need to build up its links to the e-commerce space around the region. While a Pinterest clone, from an interface perspective may not be a viable acquisition target, its physical presence and networks to these local monetization potentials would be. Fo example Huaban in China has already begun monetizing with various e-commerce entities, and has strategic links with Taobao, tackling the big question social commerce in China.

    What I find amusing, is how many complain about how Asia breeds Copycats. Dig a bit deeper, and you’ll find out where some of these Copycat Founders and Backers actually hail from.

    1. This is interesting 🙂

      Another question pops up my mind now. Have you heard of http://www.likabl.es/
      UI is pretty much similar to pinterest but the interesting question is why did they not suffer the same kind of criticism like singterest? When they started or they did?

      Cheers
      Bryan

  2. Likeables, started in March 2011, way before most people in Singapore heard of or had access to Pinterest. In the US though, I am not certain what the scene was like. Was Pinterest the originator of Internet based Pinboarding? Or was it the successful one that emerged?

    A copycat in asia, at this point in time, however would suffer the criticism since Pinterest has already claimed mindshare globally.

  3. Any chance the potential acquisition may be a quick way to consolidate web analytic data for this region? will love to better understand how these sites work..

  4. In terms of consolidating web analytic data there are a few angles to consider.

    1. There are already many other local sources of “web analytic data” available, and many of these sources are pretty matured too, also a tonne of new apps/services/user communities aside from Pinterest clones. If it was just data that Pinterest is after, they can spend a small amount of money to get that data, small meaning in the order of 100s to not more than $10,000.

    2. Unless these Pinterest clones gain some real traction, or have a unique complimentary angle for Pinterest, it is hard to see them as Pinterest acquisition targets. There have been some clones in China which have gained traction, and on top of that, figured out the monetization angle, something which the original Pinterest is still tackling, one of those might be a good target.

    In Singapore specifically and I cannot comment much on markets I have little exposure to, it does not seem like any of the Pinterest clones are really gaining traction yet. Maybe if they have a large user base and a strong local monetization network, it might be an attractive target. It does not seem that is the case yet.

    3. A more basic question is, what is the value in “web analytics data”? And how much would anybody / Pinterest be willing to pay for it?

  5. What most clones very quickly discover is that these are extremely traffic-intensive sites that are expensive from an ongoing operational standpoint. Monetization is not easy, which is why most of them shut down relatively quickly.

    Pinterest does an enormous amount of link scraping/replacing to yield affiliate revenue, and by all accounts they are far from profitable and hoping for an acquisition.

    I’ll never understand why people want to copy things that are popular instead of things that are profitable. Make a local Ebay clone, a dating site or anything transactional. Those have proven profit potential. The “game” in the USA is to “create hype” and sell the company to some sucker before it all falls apart (ie: MySpace). So many people copy sites and then find out the hard way that there was never a business model to begin with…

    1. Hi IBID,

      Thanks for the comment and I really like the part on
      “I’ll never understand why people want to copy things that are popular instead of things that are profitable”

      so much truth in that, if anyone is thinking of cloning a site, go for something that has a proven revenue model 😀

      Cheers
      Bryan

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