South Africa’s Web 2.0 winners

Web 2.0, a term referring to ‘second generation of web-based communities and hosted services’, is currently a big Internet growth point with billions being invested in it worldwide.

According to Wikipedia, these second generation web-based communities and hosted services — such as social-networking sites, wikis and folksonomies — generally aim to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users.

Typical examples of Web 2.0 sites are Digg, Facebook, Myspace and Youtube, and with Youtube recently attracting a $ 1.65 Billion acquisition by Google and MySpace being bought for US$580 million by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation it is quite clear why Web 2.0 has become the latest buzz word.

Blog Aggregators

Locally there are many Web 2.0 startups, ranging from Video hosting services similar to Youtube to blogging platforms like Blogger and blog aggregators like Technorati.

Two of the most recent additions are Amatomu and Afrigator. Both of these are blog aggregators, with Amatomu focusing its attention mainly on South African blogs while Afrigator has a stronger African focus.

Amatomu quickly became the de-facto measurement for blogging success in South Africa, and is sending over 300 000 click throughs to the local blogosphere monthly. It is currently tracking 3 828 406 page impressions from 14 880 blog posts per month, and is growing at a rapid rate.

Afrigator went live in April this year, and is already attracting 12 557 unique monthly visitors. Over 1 200 blogs are listed on the website, and according to Justin Hartman, co-founder of Afrigator, the site currently grows at around 25.5% per month.

South African Digg

South Africa’s version of Digg is Muti. Here visitors can submit articles or websites which they find interesting and they can vote for their favourate submissions.

The website was launched in the beginning of 2006, and has attracted 3 000 registrations already. According to David Duarte the site notches up around 4 000 unique IP addresses per day.

YouTube with a local flavor

Two of the most prominent local video hosting websites are Zoopy and MyVideo.

MyVideo was launched in the beginning of the year and is proving to be a popular destination for many local Netizens. It attracts 18 000 unique visitors per month and serves around 100 000 pages to its users.

Zoopy launched into Live Beta on 5 March 2007, and has served 290 537 pages to its 31 467 unique visitors in August.

Craigslist for locals

Vottle is a South African Craigslist, and offers a free classifieds platform to local Internet users. This service was started by well known Internet entrepreneur Ronnie Apteker from Internet Solutions fame in April 2006 – with the help of people like Richard van Katwijk and Justin Spratt.

It currently attracts nearly 28 000 unique monthly visitors and served 223 938 pages over the last 30 days. So far the site has 5 907 registered members who have placed 27 769 classifieds.

Social networking

ITWeb entered the social networking arena in April this year with MyDigitallife, offering a blogging platform, articles, a forum and other social networking components. The website attracts 32 000 unique monthly visitors and serves around 200 000 pages per month to its growing user base.

Another social networking addition is Blueworld, offering users a platform for blogging, profiles and video hosting and they have been around since 2005. It currently receives 55 000 unique visitors a month and serves a whopping 825 000 pages.

Challenging the bigger players

These websites are not yet on par with more established websites that have a social networking component or Web 2.0 features like 24.com or MyBroadband, but they are quickly becoming challengers to far better funded projects.

Around the world these new upstarts are taking on and surpassing established players in the industry, and the same is likely to happen in South Africa.

A basic overview

The following table gives a quick overview of some of the most prominent Web 2.0 websites in South Africa.

Please note that these statistics are based on feedback from the website administrators and were not audited.

Website Started Monthly Unique Visitors Monthly Page Views Measurement
         
Afrigator 3 April 2007 12 557 30 325 Google Analytics
Amatomu 21 March 2007 10 000 70 000 Custom
Blueworld 2005 55 000 825 000 Google Analytics
Muti January 2006 40 000 700 000 Custom
MyDigitallife 13 April 2007 32 000 200 000 Nielsen//Netratings
MyVideo 1 January 2007 18 000 100 000 Google Analytics
Vottle 1 April 2006 27 848 223 938 Google Analytics
Zoopy 5 March 2007 31 467 290 537 AW Stats
         

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South Africa’s Web 2.0 winners