Social network seeks to leverage two local proclivities

Thursday, January 20, 2011

US social network Kactoos launched a Brazilian unit this week with expectations of plugging into two local cravings - social networking and electronics - to capture 1mn users interested in purchasing high-end consumer products, country manager Vilmo Luiz de Freitas Medeiros told BNamericas.

The site fits into Brazil's vertical social network movement, which includes "hundreds of sites dedicated to connecting people with common interests from DJing to cooking," Medeiros said. Prominent examples with strong bases in Brazil include Linked In - dedicated to professional networking - and Scoob, a community for book lovers, he added.

Ultimately, Medeiros foresees the Brazilian unit accounting for 5-10% of Kactoos' overall presence, based on the country's appetite for social networks and consumer electronics. Already, he has identified netbooks as a likely hot product for the site in 2011.

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"Even when people here have notebooks, they want to go for a netbook," Medeiros said. "So, I think the people who do not go for tablets will look at netbooks."

Kactoos combines elements from several popular internet companies - from e-commerce sites such as Amazon to group purchasing communities like Groupon. Kactoos users can form contacts, write and read product reviews, compare prices and bond together as buyers to receive discounts.