MingleBox launches Orkut Apps – Is Sleeping with Competition that bad?

MingleBox has launched two Orkut apps – iPoke and Teen Patti

“With iPoke, you can interact with friends using Indian lingo. Get caught in cricket with college buddies. Bowl a maiden over, fox a friend with a googly, or get hit wicket. Resume the chalk-piece war from your old school days. Missed your friend on his birthday? Smash a birthday cake on his face!

Teen Patti is an Indian version of 3 card poker, also known as flash. It is a must play before and on Diwali for many Indian families. Even losing is supposed to bring you good luck!”

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While one can always say, sleeping with competition is a screwed up strategy (and the company has simply given-up on competition), I look at it as a very gutsy step.

First of all, it means a clear differentiation in terms of one’s positioning.

Here is what I mean:

MingleBox has positioned itself as a fun place for college kids and Orkut is still looked upon as a social networking space. While Orkut apps takes it’s own sweet time to gain adoption , MingleBox can still ride the Orkut wave and get more visibility and users.

Is the differentiation in positioning is more clear than ever before? Or is this a survival guide for MingleBox?

Infact, Orkut apps gives MingleBox an access to tons of users without burning too much of marketing $$s. And value to Orkut? Well, they call it OpenSocial, so they better keep it that way, i.e. open+social.

Feel free to disagree and share your point of view.

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