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The trend in social media helps Google increase its income from US$ 2 billion to over US$ 20 billion in 10 years. Mark Zuckenberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, has tripled his income to US$13.5 billion since last year, earning him the no. 52 spot on the world’s richest according to Forbes.

Not only in the Northern America and Europe, the social media in Asia is growing rapidly. Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, India and Indonesia are among the top tiers in some of the leading social media. Indonesia, with more than 35 million users, is Facebook’s second largest market after the US.

Future Business

Twitter is estimated to be worth more than US$ 7.7 billion, and many investors are starting to buy shares of the company that is predicted to be the next Google, according to Sharepost, a private capital markets solution firm. 

Other social media, LinkedIn has its share jump from the initial offer of US$45 apiece to US$122.70 apiece last May 2011.

In Indonesia, there are information technology companies outdoing each other transforming their innovative ideas into the Internet-based business platform.

Literally means ‘somersault’ in English, Koprol is Indonesian version of Foursquare where we can locate friends in surrounding areas. Acquired by Yahoo! last year, the name has changed to Yahoo! Koprol. 

Kaskus, with more than 900 million page views, is the Indonesia’s biggest online community. It is the sixth most visited website in the country after facebook.com, google.co.id, google.com, blogger.com and yahoo.com.

First created in 1999, Kaskus was initially only a college project assigned to the Indonesian Andrew Darwis when he studied at Art Institute of Seattle, the US. Taken from the acronym ‘kasak kusuk’ (literally means ‘random chatting or gossiping’ in English), Kaskus was created as a community forum of Indonesian people who live in the US.

“The beginning was no easy task. Kaskus was not at all popular. With the help of Darta Media management, I started focusing on e-commerce. Members of Kaskus has drastically increased with current record of 2.75 million members; more than half have taken advantage of Kaskus’s buying-selling forum,” Andrew attests. 

The increasing number of Kaskus’s members attracts many advertisers, transforming Kaskus as a money maker with annual income of approximately US$ 1 million since 2008. “The growth is about 200 percent every year,” he adds.

Kaskus has since March 2011 expanded its business by taking Global Digital Prima (GDP), a part of Djarum Group, as partner. The injection fund of Rp600 billion or around US$ 69 million from GDP surely helps Kaskus develop its business. The hearsay is that GDP is entitled to 30 percent of share portion. But the partnership is much more lucrative compared to the offer once proposed by a foreign company to buy Kaskus for US$ 50 million or Rp430 million. Wow!

Regardless of the accuracy of the figure, social media is a new trend. “It’s not  merely about social network. It’s the Web 2.0 era where effective use of social media is a powerful strategy for marketing and public relations strategies,” says Rene S. Canoneo, advisor at Contextual Digital Advertising Platform (SITTI), an Indonesia’s based search engine. (Burhan Abe)

High End Magazine August 2011 Edition

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