Update (Dec. 18th 2012):

After reading an article in the Budapest Business Journal about iwiw recently called “Unsocial network: The rise and fall of iWiW” I remembered that I have written this article long time ago. To be exact it was 4 years and 4 months ago on August 30th 2008. In that time I said that “iwiw is far behind Facebook in terms of technology and usability” which still is true even more than ever and I also said that “in Hungary iwiw is the number one, not Facebook” which has changed over the years. This is also the reason why I wanted to have another close look on this post.

First lets have a look at how the situation was in August 2008 when I originally wrote this post, I used Google trends for this showing the “search interest” on Google, meaning how many people are searching for specific terms in Hungary. 100 is not the absolute number of course but it is the maximum and all other numbers are the percentage of 100.

You clearly can see that iwiw is by far more popular than Facebook in 2008 and also the development is quite impressive while Facebook is nearly non existent in Hungary that time. No doubt, my statement that “in Hungary iwiw is the number on, not Facebook” was true.
Let’s have a look into the development of iwiw alone to date, so from 2004 (start of measurement in Google Trends) until December 2012 and there you can see the classical rise and falljust like stated in the article I have read.

Wow! That looks destroying. If you move your mouse on the graph over the last measurement you will see a little 16 which means that iwiw is only at 16% of its highest measured search volume in April 2009. The trend is clearly negative since end 2009 and it is happening faster than iwiw would like to.
To be honest I haven’t logged into iwiw since years and I am probably not the only one so that a trend like this is not really surprising. However I logged in yesterday and the participation of my contacts is so minor that I would not call it a social network anymore. On my wall I can find 5 updates which are up to 5 days old from current or former iwiw / Origo employees.
So lets compare this time frame (2004 – present) comparing iwiw and Facebook with each other and it will be clear what cause this negative trend of the former market leader.

That graph would be a beautiful example for any university to demonstrate how two competing companies or websites are fighting with each other for the audience with a clear winner. In 2009 when the iwiw trend was stagnating Facebook started to become popular. When the decrease of iwiw started in 2010 Facebook started to fly. Again, this is just representing search queries in Hungary. If you check the top value for iwiw in April 2009 you see that it is just 35% of the top value for Facebook meaning that Facebook now is by far more popular in Hungary than iwiw has ever been.
Look into the future
The graphs clearly demonstrate the trend in this “fight” for social networks in Hungary and you don’t need to be a prophet to take a look into the future. Still iwiw is in the top 15 of Hungarian websites according to Alexa but even website like blog.hu, aprod.hu or vatera.hu have left the former star of the Hungarian world wide web behind.
I don’t want to believe so but I would not wonder if iwiw closed its gates in near future so that the next update of the post in 4 years and 4 months time might say “iwiw does not exist anymore”. However the database of iwiw users is still of interest for iwiw -> Origo -> Magyar Telekom but the question is how up to date this data is.
What do you think? Will iwiw survive or not?

[divide style=”3″]

Original post:

I thought that in the category Internet I will write some stuff about the Hungarian Internet market since this is what I am working with every day and see a lot. So here is the first internet post.

About Facebook I think I don’t have to talk too much with its million users nearly everybody is registered there. But iwiw (internet who is who) formerly known as wiw is by far the largest Hungarian social network owned by [origo]. With I think nearly 2 million registered users you find almost every Hungarian on iwiw. Really, when I have been out for a night and met new people, the next day I checked on iwiw and I found at least 95% of them there.
The difference is that you can join iwiw only if you get invited by a friend as it used to be on Facebook as well. Iwiw still holds on to this method, with success. According to webaudit iwiw is the second largest website in Hungary with 2.2 million unique visitors per day and over 58 million PIs.
Unfortunately iwiw is not as sophisticated as Facebook because you don’t have the chance to modify anything or use the API to create application as they are offered on Facebook. As I am well informed iwiw will have API integration within the system soon. But also the platform itself is a bit crowded and overloaded in my eyes.
So in general you can say that iwiw is far behind Facebook in terms of technology and usability but in Hungary iwiw is the number one, not Facebook.

No Comments

Leave a Comment