Interview with Jeffrey Ng, CEO from Zorpia
TechAddress: Tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
Zorpia: Zorpia is a photo sharing social networking site. People come to Zorpia to share photos that they like and get to know people from around the world. We have a well spread global user base. Our users, ‘Zorpians’, use our photo feature actively to spice up their profile and meet new friends. We provide a platform for them to hang out and meet friends that share the same interests.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
Zorpia: The fact that we are international makes us a unique social networking site. Other sites may have regional dominance, but none of them truly embrace an international community. For example, on MySpace, the majority of the users are from the United States. Americans tend to form a closed community that’s not welcoming for users from other countries. Bebo’s user base is mainly from the UK, and so it’s not particularly useful for people outside of the UK either. Zorpia is international, when people become Zorpians, they get friend requests, messages and comments from people around the world. Asia, Europe, Australia, Americas, Africa, you name the place, we have got active members from there.
We provide an international platform for our fellow Zorpians to hang out and meet friends with people that share the same interests. We have not yet seen any other social networking site that provides such an atmosphere in their communities.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
– unlimited storage and bandwidth for photo sharing
– social networking
– private messaging
– comments and forums, also our responses feature lets you track all the comments you got through out the site easily
– homepage customization
TechAddress: Who’s your target customer or audience?
Zorpia: Our target audience are people aged 16-30 from anywhere of the world.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
Zorpia: We just released a music feature. We allow music artists to set up profiles on Zorpia. Zorpians can add their songs to their play list and even share their music in other sites. We are currently working on partnership deals with music labels to get more artists on Zorpia. We already have Avril Lavigne and Sarah Mclachlan and more onboard, and we will get more big named artists in near future.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
Zorpia: We had a release 2 weeks ago, which we upgraded our whole database platform and code base. Everything changed at the backend while we had to maintain exactly the same functionalities and layouts. As a result, Zorpia had technical glitches and performance issues the first few days after the release. We apologized to our fellow Zorpians, worked super hard to get the problems solved. Now we’ve got our happy community back!
Another common problem of sites like this is that people use it for inappropriate ‘adult’ use. Like other sites, this was common for us . Around 6 months ago we decided to tackle this, and through various automated, and human effort methods, we have managed to greatly reduce this content. This makes the whole site more pleasant to use for our users.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
Zorpia: We constantly study our fellow Zorpians’ usage trend. We do polls and survey in the site to get user feedback. We listen to their opinions and morph our site according to their feedback.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
Zorpia: Our mission is to provide a website for people around the world to hang out and meet new friends through a common medium, photos. We also want to provide content to users which is relevant to them according to their interests and location.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
Zorpia: We have talked to quite a few investors, and got a few investment offers. We are still looking for potential investors to provide funding to Zorpia and take us to the next level.
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