The Samwer Brothers are up to the same game they started with their investment in the German version of Facebook, StudiVZ. They recently invested in a French and German Twitter clone called Frazr.
As Matt Marshall reports, the site is cloned right down to the welcome message: “Everyone wants to know: What are you doing? Tell them. On the Web, in a message, or phone”. The German version recently changed the message, but the French version has the old message. Check the screen caps below.
Foreign companies have been mirroring English based site concepts for some time now. Japan’s largest social network, Mixi, with 5 million members at the time, went to IPO last year at around a $1.5 billion market cap. Outright cloning has also been good business for foreign developers who are nimble enough to copy successful product and expose it to a new market. StudiVZ sold for $100 million. Xiaonei, a Chinese version, sold for an undisclosed amount.
There are countless other clones of successful sites being developed to capitalize on these language barriers, and some have established themselves as brands in their own right. Successful concepts will be developed in other languages, the only question is by whom.