[Editorial notes: Media has an important role to play. But technology media in India is far far away from a meaningful role and is mostly looking for cheesy content to increase the pageviews. Importantly, they are dumb and while you can fix other issues, it's really difficult to fix the dumb part (Read : Dear Mainstream Media Journos, You can still save yourself). Read on.]
If you’ve been reading the tech/start-up news lately, you must have met Desi Mark Zuckerberg aka Pushkar Mahatta by now.
He runs India’s homegrown social network (WorldFloat) with apparently 6 million users (will cross 10 Million by June … that’s just few days away) and is valued at $300 million.
Like anyone, I got curious reading such bold headlines claiming that “finally India has arrived” and the founder (who is a real estate guy actually) rejecting the buyout offers of $300 Million.
Wooo!!! this looks big – by now, I stopped spinning my chair and was on the site -worldfloat.com.
A login page with apple & android logos for no purpose and a video that makes no sense.
I logged in with Facebook and landed up on a page having Taj Mumbai as the background and a dozen profile pics floating all over, like the windows screensaver of the last decade. I wasted nearly 10 minutes to figure out what it was … but I couldn’t
One thing was clear though, I wouldn’t buy it for even 300 bucks (that’s INR).
But then – Eureka !!!
I noticed that floating profile pictures were all unknown, I clicked on one profile and it showed me all the info -> Profile picture, Name, Age, City, Country and even the EMAIL ID.
How can the next big thing from India show my email id to someone unknown ? That’s stupid.
I dug deeper, checked few profiles, analyzed the site and thought to put it to some reality check.
I applied a little Jugaad (tiny hack) and asked SK (The Python bear at BearShop) to write a small script and run it for the night.
Two hours later the while loop concluded and execution was over lot earlier than expected.
We had the results and Mr Desi Zuckerberg just got BUSTED.
1- Total number of registered users till last night – 81,110 from all over the world.
2- Geographical Distribution (in %)
3- The best one, a site with 6 million users has only 3 lac visitors. Oops ! they missed the counter on the footer
It is sad to see that all the leading news portals – TOI, The Hindu, ET & NDTV have covered this story, and they’ve cooked it up good enough to fetch them 80K users.
I have often heard that valuations are airy, but this airy ?
[Note to Desi Zuckerberg - Buddy, you need to hire better engineers.]
[Adds NextBigWhat team: this is precisely why we take pride in our standards of reporting and have even published our 10 commandments for you to question us on!)