24.com launches Laaik.it

Breaking news on the local social media scene: 24.com, the internet arm of Media24, has launched its new social news and bookmarking site, Laaik.it. The news appears to be first broken by local blogger Charl Norman on his Bandwidth blog. I was alerted to it by Justin Hartman on Facebook. We’ve known for a while, via our spies, that it was coming — but didn’t know much about the name or the execution.

My first, initial impression? I haven’t tried the functionality, but the look and feel is nice and simple. I like the green, the logo and the clean look. I like the domain hack, although it’s spoilt by the redirection to “laaikit.24.com” — which perhaps serves to create the sense that it is not a brand in its own right? Like amatomu.com‘s shmaaks (votes), Laaik.it have gone local and colloquial with the name, which I like. It’s interesting that they didn’t create the site in open source/PHP, which is the vogue language for this stuff. Will this be an issue re: it gaining acceptance from the savvy community? Is this its target market or are they after a broader market?

Laaik.it’s competition is muti, a successful local social bookmarking site, which has been around for some time. The site has come under fire, not entirely justified in my opinion, from some quarters as being “elitist”. You can bet that 24.com is certainly going to link Laaik.it to its mothership, News24, if they have not done so already, which will have the effect of taking this to the mainstream.

Competition is a wonderful thing. Wonder how muti will respond, if at all?

Comments (7)

  1. charl wrote::

    Nice post Matt, theres been some cit aimed at them so far about Laaik, I dont think its a bad start… lets see how it evolves

    Thanks for the track back!

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 1:26 pm #
  2. Elan (24.com) wrote::

    Thanks Matt : )

    On the domain – we cannot use our authentication engine across multiple engines at the moment – so we had to settle on the redirect but the plan is for it to live independly on laaik.it

    It’s a Beta and we expect lotsa buggs when the masses come.

    Also think there are some usability issues but I had to take an 80/20 otherwise we would have launched this is 2010 : )

    Yip – next week we will feature laaik.it buttons on our entire network of content as well as other Naspers partners – so we aim as a key priority to bring social media to the masses who are not so tech-savvy.

    On that point I think that Web2.0 is really about people and participation more than technology. The critics might argue that we are missing some ajax etc etc but it’s all coming.

    For now it’s a toe in the water.

    Also NB is that we trully want this to be a place for people to post relevant SA content from any source. I would consider it a failure if all it becomes is a ranking respository for Media24 content. We will actively encourage links to content on competitor sites.

    Ultimately we are all in the same echosystem fighting off the US juggernauts : )

    Let me know when you in CT – otherwise till Dublin bro.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 4:01 pm #
  3. Elan (24.com) wrote::

    PS – another newsflash.

    I am thinking about actually starting a blog.

    Finally!

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm #
  4. Stefano wrote::

    interesting, I can’t wait until there is enough content here to draw up a comparison to local (and international) rivals.

    As said, Muti has become rather specific, and hopefully laaik.it can cross that issue out with the help of their huge audience.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 9:42 pm #
  5. Stii wrote::

    I think this is great news for Muti. 24.com has always had a very strong but isolated user base. They might see there is in fact other options apart from 24.com and start checking it out and maybe even laaiking it! Seriously though, it does not offer much different from Muti and I know Muti is scheduling some nifty new features in an upcoming release, so it will be mighty interesting to see what happens!

    I think though that it is perfect as Guy et al is already planning moving their entire entourage away from Muti to Laaikit. Yeay!!!

    Thursday, October 25, 2007 at 11:35 pm #
  6. matt wrote::

    @ stii –24.com have something like 2,5 million readers and around 35-mill page impressions… I’d say that makes other sites look rather isolated! I agree with you though that their site will serve a different market to muti…

    @ stefano — yeah we are nowhere close to a social bookmarking service of Digg’s standard… will be interesting to see if Muti can get close… i mean just look at the Digg swarm, arc, stack etc — innovative stuff

    @ elan — well done on the first step. fix the domain! 🙂 why not PHP?

    @ charl — agree!!

    Friday, October 26, 2007 at 7:09 am #
  7. Henre wrote::

    @Elan, I think the big issue is that we expected some critical functionality from the word go. I agree with the 80/20 approach, but feel you might have focused on the wrong areas. However, my blog post acknowledges that I’m excited to see how it pans out, so for now, I’m very much excited. This again might only be a technical blogger issue and we may well find that the less tech savvy people absolutely adores the platform from the word go.

    @stii & @matt: I think what Stii meant is that the user base inside 24.com was pretty much secluded from the market which Muti serves very well. It would be worth noticing how the userbase integrates and how the competition between the two pans out.

    Friday, October 26, 2007 at 4:20 pm #

Trackbacks/Pingbacks (2)

  1. […] So far, there are blog posts on it by Matthew Buckland, Uno de Waal and adii. The general gist seems to be to dislaaik it… But let’s see how it develops. I’m waiting for an official press release. […]

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