Social Networking Customers of Cafés
In one of my blogs about the Yahoo-Nielsen Internet Habits Study for the Philippines where I enumerated what Filipino netizens do when they go online, an interesting figure in the statistics is that 51% of us visit social networking sites. I said this figure is interesting because the gamers (those who play games when they go online) beat them (the social networkers) by only two (2%) percent. Does this mean that pure gaming cafés are missing the chance to share the social networking (SN) customers?
You might have noticed how café owners shout or post urgently in their favorite forums whenever their customers find it difficult to login to Friendster. This only shows that their social networking customers are regular ones and they are afraid to lose them should they fail to login to their favorite SN site. We all know that majority of social networkers in the Philippines prefer Friendster over other SN sites.
The social networking customers of Internet cafés vary widely if we speak of their ages. Students as young as those in High School level (ages 13 to 16) already have SN accounts. They use the sites to befriend others and help each other in their studies. The older ones, those already in college level and young professionals, go further than befriending and sometimes get their lifetime partners through the online network. I personally knew some people who had this experience when we were still operating a non-gaming café.
Actually, we all know that Friendster, the favorite of Filipino social networkers, is just one among the many sites that have similar functions and features. The top social networking site is Facebook which recently reported to have 250 million members with more than 100 million of them going online everyday. I would believe there are also many Filipino members of Facebook so how would like to have them among your customers? If your café is for gaming only but you want to share in the growing market for SN customers, I suggest that you separate the stations for social networkers. My observation is that they cannot be mixed with the gamers.