afaqs!

Indians flock to mobile social network, myGamma

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | January 29, 2008
The global mobile network claims that it has the largest number of Indian members - more than five lakh

BuzzCity, the & #BANNER1 & # wireless consumer services company, which is based in Singapore, is claiming that Indians form the largest community of members on its mobile social networking site, myGamma.

According to a survey done by the company, myGamma has more than 5,74,000 members from India - much higher than from Malaysia (3,45,000 members) and China (2,97,000 members). The survey reveals that 14 per cent of the Indian members are more likely to go on the mobile network to "pass time", compared with the average, which is 7 per cent. Around 75 per cent of the overall members responded that they get on to the network to "meet" their friends.

Though myGamma is accessible on the mobile and the computer, 91 per cent of its members access it online. For Indian members, this number is about 95 per cent.

The survey shows that 35 per cent of myGamma members have made a purchase on the network in the form of games, ringtones, wallpapers and virtual gifts.

Dr. Lai KokFung
Launched in 2005 in India, BuzzCity is optimistic about its prospects in the country. Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Dr. Lai KokFung, chief executive officer, BuzzCity, says, "The factors which have led to a large number of Indians on our network is the growing penetration of mobile phones and the relatively low cost of mobile Internet usage. Also, PC Internet access is not very well spread."

Interestingly, KokFung adds that a majority of the Indians on myGamma are from the "emerging middle class, and not necessarily from the upper crust". He adds that most of them are in the age group of 20-35 years and, while a larger number are from big cities, there's a fair sampling from the smaller towns as well.

myGamma is a free mobile social network and the members do not have to pay anything except data charges. The network is based on an advertising model.

According to KokFung, myGamma has already attracted a number of Indian advertisers and international advertisers targeting the Indian audience. Companies such as Kodak, Sharekhan, ICICI Bank, Tata AIG and Emami have already placed text and graphic ads on the network. The Kodak campaign, for instance, involved a survey, click-to-call facility and store locators. KokFung adds that the campaign generated 9,000 responses within a week. Among the international advertisers, there are companies such as Tiny Pictures and Trutap.

myGamma has not promoted itself in the Indian media, but is building a buzz through conferences and meets. It has already done a co-promotion with Vodafone and has developed a mobile application for Idea Cellular.