Social Networking is big and its growing. There are social networks which are general in nature and cater to everyone. There are also niche specific social networks such as Fotolog (photos) and Shelfari (books). Soch.la is one which serves a niche category in being a social network based on Cricket. We talked to Pradeep Chopra , co-founder and Head of Marketing for Soch.la on various aspects of the social network.
Tell us a little about Soch la. How did the idea originate?
Soch.la is the World’s First Social Cricket Platform. Rather than just watching the match, ‘soch.la‘ gives cricket lovers an opportunity to come together and enjoy cricket with their friends and family, while cheering for their favorite teams. Users can watch, comment and connect on every ball, every four and every duck-out!
Soch.la uses the Twitter”s terminology of ‘followers’ as users get updates of comments posted by those whom they are “following”. On the other hand, the process of liking, commenting on posts is similar to that of Facebook.
On Jan 27th, 2011, I along with other founders of Soch.la Kapil Nakra and Manas Garg came up with the idea of Soch.la to create real fun around cricket during the much awaited world cup.
What is the current use base? Could you share insights on the demographics of Soch.la?
Current user base is 2500+ which is a highly engaged community & growing steadily. Our users are from all walks of life, from around the world, are web savvy & want to share their experiences with their friends online. Males form around 60% of the user base, rest are females. Most of the users fall in the age group of 18-35.
How is Soch.la different from discussions happening on Twitter and Facebook at the time of a cricket match?
Soch.la provides score updates & smart commentary at the blazing speed. Users on Soch.la have been regularly appreciating us for updating score quicker than other cricket portals such as cricinfo, yahoo cricket etc.
Soch.la platform is evolving further using crowdsourcing model. New features are added based upon popular demand. Some interesting features are cool animations which appear at the top whenever a particular action happens on the field like a boundary, six, out etc. Ball by ball live update & commentary. Polls can be created by all the users for their friends to vote. Soch.la is rich media friendly. Simply posting a Youtube video URL embeds the videos for friends to see & comment upon.
The conversations on Twitter n Facebook are distributed. The capabilities of any specialized network such as Soch.la can’t be matched with generic networks such as Facebook. Twitter anyways is not a community.
How is Soch.la being marketed? What platforms are being used in promoting it?
It started with invites to close friends and then it is mostly grouting through word of mouth. In addition, a lot of media (including international) has covered Soch.la. Find more about media coverage at http://soch.la/media
What is Soch.la’s revenue model?
Soch.la revenue will be based upon advertising and introducing “social gaming element within Soch.la”. Like any Social Network, Soch.la has the advantage of targeted advertising since it has knowledge about its users.
Currently Soch.la works with a login through Facebook, is there a strategy in place behind not using Twitter as a login preference?
The value of Soch.la lies in connecting and communicating with friends. If we’d not used Facebook as Login, we would not have mechanism to connect users of Soch.la with their friends. Allowing both Facebook and Twitter will fragment the Social Graph and that’s why we are only using Facebook login as of now.
What is the expected growth from Soch.la? What are the plans for the future?
Cricket is really huge not just in India but even globally. We’ve plans to reach out to millions of cricket viewers and lovers across the world. In addition, we plan to move beyond Cricket. As we reach the critical mass of users, we will start working on the monetization opportunities. As mentioned earlier, we’ll also introduce Social Gaming initially for user engagement. Trusting the power of Crowdsourcing, we’ve been continuously evolving the platform based on the user inputs on daily basis (and at time even hourly basis) since its launch. Soch.la in that sense is a true ‘by the cricket fans, for the cricket fans’ platform.