With the recent success of social networks such as MySpace, Facebook and Google’s Orkut, a new site called Student Face has emerged with the intent on capturing the Aussie market, at least within the student population.
Although Student Face has many features similar to rivals (such as Facebook), the company seems to have plans to expand their features beyond what Facebook offers its members and were gracious enough to answer several questions regarding their site for the Blog Herald.
Note: Questions were answered by Jahangir from the Student Face Team.
1) What inspired you to start Student Face in the first place?
In a nutshell I think the concept of creating an online community for university students is second to none. A place where educated youth can interact, share ideas, create groups, and consolidate their friends in the one place is priceless. I went through university and met a lot of great people, but unfortunately I did not keep in touch with most of them, thus I believe I missed out on a lot. Looking back now, I wish I kept the contacts of all my classmates. Added to this the popularity of facebook, and the benefits that American students are getting form such s system, I though to myself, Why should Americans have all the fun? Why should students downunder miss out?
2) Why should students in your region use Student Face as opposed to the popular alternative, Facebook?
We are not denying for a second that facebook is a popular alternative. However, we do not see the value for students of Australia to use facebook. Facebook is for Americans, on the other side of the globe. As you put it in your question ‘€œstudents in your region’€?, for local students to use facebook, is really pointless, unless they are planning to move to America or have many American friends. In any case if one wanted to interact with people from other parts of the globe, then there are many other alternatives, not just facebook. Our uniqueness is that studentface is Aussie specific. An online community for students of Australia.
3) How many Australian users are on Student Face, and how active are they within the site?
Since our date of launch our membership base has been growing rapidly. At this stage we would prefer not to talk numbers as we have just launched, and our member expansion has been attributable to word-of-mouth. We are currently in the process of launching advertising campaigns nationwide.
4) What are your plans for promoting Student Face in order to make it more popular?
As stated in the previous question we are in the process of launching advertising and promotional campaigns. Currently we signed to be one of the major sponsors of the University Of Technology Sydney (UTS’€™s) Arts, Science and Technology festival, which will be held form the 3rd to the 6th of October. On a daily basis we signing sponsorship deals with the universities sports teams, which are about to compete at the Australian University Games, to be held in Adelaide. We have posted our banner on the UNSW union website, we will be putting up a stand at the University of Sydney in a couple of weeks, we have casual promoters (who are studentface members) promoting studentface at their relevant universities, and of course word-of-mouth.
5) Do you plan to roll out any new features within the next three months? (and if so, would you mind sharing?)
Most definitely we have plans in place to roll-out new features in the next three month. In about two weeks time we will be introducing a YouTube like video feature. Students will be able to upload as many videos as they wish. They will be able to share videos, rate videos, and comment on videos. Also we will be adding a ‘€œstudent celebrity’€? section, where a notable student will have his/her profile, with our first signing with Thomas Whalan, a two time Olympian, and the current Australian water polo captain. Thomas studies commerce/law at the university of Sydney. These are the up and coming features, there are plenty more but they are still a work-in-progress. We will be more than happy to keep you posted.
6) What is Student Face main source of revenue right now? And do you plan on supporting the site with ads?
Studentface is an add supported website. Our business model is ad revenue. Currently we are in negotiations with several companies who have procured a strong an interest in advertising with us. Once again we will be more than happy to keep you posted.
7) Last, do you plan on staying within Australia, or are you considering expanding to other regions nearby? (such as New Zealand, etc.)
Most definitely our strategic vision is to expand into other countries. We have the system in place to do so and we have identified several locations. At this stage we can not disclose the locations to you as we wish to retain our competitive advantage, namely being the first-mover. Once again more than happy to keep you posted.
Although I did not see anything that caught my eye upon logging in, Student Face’s plans on adding video to their site will probably make it a major player in the social network arena, at least within its region.