Web 18's portal in.com, which is still in beta mode, is at number seven in the top Indian portals in the country according to the ComScore data. The Comscore data also measures the consolidated reach of the group. It is now ahead of the combined reach of the Times Internet sites and is only behind Rediff.com.
in.com has been in the beta mode since August and is now gearing up for its official launch in the first week of October.
As reported by Campaign India earlier, in.com has sections like read (news), listen (music, news), watch (videos), play (games), find (flights, matrimonial, hotels and products) and mail.
Rishi Khiani, COO, Web 18 says, "We have strategically created verticals in the Internet space like Bookmyshow, Moneycontrol and Buzz 18. The idea for in.com came up as we wanted to do something more mass. We looked at where the Internet was heading and decided to go with Web 3.0 which is about reading, writing and execution."
The portal will soon have job search, real estate search and bars and nightclubs search.
Khiani describes the portal as a meta-aggregator. "It's a crawler that gathers information from different websites and collates it in a single database. The first level of filtering stories is based on the broad popularity of the content on the Internet. The second level of filtration happens on the portal itself on the basis of what users are voting for and voting against. We serve customised content according to users' profiles. Also, we can group people in some kind of identity buckets based on their consumption patterns," he says.
The biggest differentiator of this portal is its email service, according to Khiani. "We are opening up our email page to social platform. We will allow independent developers to create applications on the email page." However, most exisitng Internet users have been using older and established mail services like Yahoo! and Gmail. It remains to be seen how many users shift to in.com as their mail service.
The monetisation of the portal is expected through banner ads, advergaming, and partnerships like in.com has developed with Big Boss. in.com has a co-branded page with Colors' reality show Bigg Boss 2. The page features videos and episodes from the shows including some 'uncensored' clippings. It also has sections like hottest housemates, photo gallery, quick poll and vote on 'who is in the dumping zone'.
"We will partner with artists, movies and brands to create co-branded pages on the portal." The initial marketing plan included search engine marketing, social networking sites and a teaser campaign. The company will launch a full-fledged campaign in two months across all mediums, says Khiani. It has appointed Alok Nanda Communications (ANC) to handle its creative duties.