The trend of adopting website clones script as a ready made source for preparing better online platform has met with mixed response in spite of the great advantage of an immediate outcome which it provides to the client. The confidence of people would definitely strengthen by studying the case of one of the successful social network clones like VKontakte which has achieved extreme growth and popularity over the past few years.
VKontakte is a Russian social network service popular in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. VK offers a striking similarity in design and functionality to its American rival Facebook, and as such has been described as a “Facebook clone.” Like Facebook, VK allows users to message contacts publicly or privately, create groups and events, share and tag images and video, and play browser-based games. One distinction of VK is its integration with torrent file sharing technology which allows users to share larger files.
As of January 2012, VK has over 140 million accounts, but has acknowledged that it has a major spam problem, and no longer advertises user numbers on its homepage. VKontakte is ranked 43 in Alexa’s global Top 500 sites and is the 4th most visited website in Russia and the 3rd in Ukraine. In May 2011 vkontakte.ru and vk.com were visited by 23.6 million and 4.9 million people from Russia aged 12–54.
The site’s functionality includes personalized pages, easy access to friends’ pages and news, photo and video hosting, a simple messaging system, groups that users can participate in, and notes. Because almost all of the information provided by users is subject to easy search, people are able to look for those from the same school or with similar interests, place of birth, etc.
New features are added to the website from time to time, such as the ability to host audio files within groups and personal pages; an “Opinions” function, which allows users to express, anonymously, personal thoughts about a friend on the network; “Offers” to ask people whether one wants to do something together with the user; “Questions” to answer the question that is asked by user; and “Applications”, which contain Flash API based games, tools, chat rooms, etc. Vkontakte offers special features which attracts more new members daily and makes them spend a lot of time online. This is the most significant advantage of Vkontakte over Facebook. The site now has 67 languages available which is another reason for its momentous success.
Similar other social networking site clones can be built by the web developers according to the customized requirements of the client which posses the potential to generate heavy revenues. All the clones consist of all the features that are eventually present in the existing sites. Thus, this approach has emerged as a convenient, easy and profitable way for undertaking successful online endeavors like VKontakte in the recent times.