Friday, April 18, 2008

Tuenti -The Spanish Facebook growth story

Madrid-based Tuenti is making waves in the Spanish-speaking social networking space. Billed as the 'Hispanic Facebook', it has managed to register the biggest Spanish-based web community despite still only having a beta-version available of its platform.

The company is playing coy with the figures, but suggests that it already has exceeded Facebook's 380,000 Spanish members.Co-founder Zaryn Dentzel states that Tuenti emphasizes the privacy element of its members above any aggressive growth target...yet, the company has proved extremely capable at expanding its membership. It now serves over 70 million page views every day and the company is already experimenting with advertising.

Tuenti states that even though they will rely on advertising for their revenue, that 'it will not look like normal advertising' but instead will be intergrated within the normal user experience on the website.

The company is now planning to roll-out a mobile version of their website and has recruited a Swede to handle this task and who will join Tuenti's other 18 employees. Possibly the biggest coup (as yet not officially announced) is that Bernardo Hernandez, Marketing Director at Google Spain, will be taking a 1 year sabbatical in order to take over business development at the ambitious start-up. He will join Rupert Van Millinguen, another former Googler, already installed at the company.

Interesting developments lie ahead, particularly as the company builds its mapping capability and rolls out Location Based Services...