With 12 million people using social networks, or 60 per cent of internet users in Vietnam, developing apps on social networks has become a good job.
The lucrative market…
The 12 million social networks’ members show that content service providers have a huge amount of potential clients, and that they have a very lucrative market to exploit.
Developing apps for social networks proves to be a job within the reach of Vietnamese content service firms. According to Vinasa, Vietnam has 100,000 new programmers – university graduates, who could be the qualified labor force for the industry.
Nguyen Van Duc Trong, business director of Zing Me alone can earn 100 billion dong a month in turnover from applications, while one million people are ready to spend money to buy applications. However, he believes that the figure is still too small if compared with the potentials of the market.
Users’ demand for apps on social networks has become more diversified. In the early stage of development, social network users were satisfactory with games apps. Meanwhile, they now want to use other facilities such as listening to music, watching films, learning English, sharing files and reading books online.
As Fanpage on social networks has become an effective channel for advertising and trading goods, a new type of application has appeared, associated with Fanpage to serve the businesses’ demand, like selling tickets, organizing lucky draws and receiving gifts.
According to Trong, there are 400 businesses operational on Zing Me, while the demand for the apps to serve the market is also very high.
Some social networks such as Zing Me, Go.vn, Facebook have launched the open platform strategy and made public API function (application programming interface) to developers to write applications for social networks. The developers would be able to cooperate to write applications and share profits with information technology firms.
Especially, some domestic social networks, including Zing Me, have also provided API for programming applications on the mobile platform like iOS and Android.
In general, the profit sharing ratios are 70/30 (70 percent of turnover belongs to app developers), or 50/50, depending on the monopoly of the apps. However, some domestic networks like Zing Me, which want to attract more clients, may offer the profit ratio of over 70 percent to developers, if the apps are favored by their clients.
While the demand for apps is very high, the number of apps which can satisfy the demand remains modest. Of the 94 apps running on Zing Me, only 25 per cent are developed by Vietnamese. On the social networks like Facebook, the number of “made in Vietnam” apps can only bring modest income to programmers.
Nguyen Minh Tu, technique director of Zing, has rejected the opinion that Vietnamese programmers lack ideas to develop new apps, saying that the ideas can turn up when developers refer to relating materials on Internet or observing the life around.
However, Tu has noted that Vietnamese programmers lack self-confidence when launching their apps into the market to compete with other products. They are afraid of the so called “big fish swallow little fish” principle: if they introduce an app on a certain platform, the owner of the platform may launch a similar app, thus raising an unhealthy competition.
He admitted that the thought is really a big barrier that prevents programmers to introduce their intellectual products and put them into business.