Your Digital Companion

Thursday, July 21

Are Indian Social Networking Sites Destined to Die? BigAdda changes tracks to E-Commerce, one of India’s popular social networking sites has just announced that it is planning to close its social networking business and will now be relaunched as an e-commerce portal.

When BigAdda was launched by Reliance Entertainment, in 2007, social networkers had high hopes that this would be the next big thing in the digital space. The site even had popular celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan, Harbhajan Singh blogging on it, and TV channels using it for promotional purposes. But, with the dominance of Orkut, Facebook and other global players in the social networking space in India, the buzz created by BigAdda soon fizzled out.
In an email that was sent to its subscribers, BigAdda said:

We value and appreciate your long standing support for In the past few months we explored our potential as an ecommerce portal by providing branded products at profitable deals to you and have found immense success. We are reaching newer heights everyday and hence are planning an expansion in the same arena.


We request you to download all your personal collection of blogs, audio files, video files and images from as we are scaling down our Social Networking services.

Please note that all your old personal data, uploaded on, shall not be available after July 15 2011.

Log on to now and download your personal files.

In case you have forgotten your password please click here to retrieve it.

Regards. Team 

 Stating the reason for this change, Rohit Sharma, CEO, Reliance Entertainment (Digital Business), “Facebook is growing very fast, so we decided to modify Bigadda into an e-commerce destination. Local social networks will not be able to grow in India. We believe that social networking is by virtue a business driven by communities and Facebook is ruling the roost in India”. 

In October, last year, the company had started to shift its focus to e-commerce business. It started with “Deals of the Day” on its homepage selling few electronic goods. The site then launched Bigadda Shop that offered mobile phones, cameras, jewellery, computer accessories and other things on discounted rates. “This is a conscious decision to transform to an e-commerce business. With this transition, we will cover the third growth driver as well. The total e-commerce market in India is estimated to be Rs 3,000-3,500 crore, while online is growing at a 50 per cent compounded annual growth rate,” said Rohit in a recent interview with Business Standard.

Is E-Commerce a better option than Social Networking in India?
Unlike the Chinese, Indians have always preferred being part of the social networking biggies like Orkut, Facebook and the now Google+. With these sites dominating in India and even opening their offices in Indian cities, homegrown social networking sites have very little scope. Several Indian social networking sites like,,, ibibo, and have failed to rule the social networking space in India and have moved on, repositioning themselves in a new way. On the other hand, e-commerce businesses are booming in India, and companies like Flipkart, Infibeam and eBay India have been doing extremely well in the past few months. So, abandoning its social networking model and plunging into the lucrative e-commerce business would appear to be a better option for BigAdda.