Media Laggard HT Gets Social Networking Itch

Social networking web sites seem to be the big rage in Internet-land with News Corp, Microsoft and Google all owing a piece of the action in this hot segment.

Now media laggard HT Media, parent company of the Hindustan Times newspaper, has belatedly developed the social networking itch.

The slow-moving HT Media says its subsidiary Firefly e-Ventures in the process of acquiring a social networking web site to establish a footing in this rapidly-growing space and complement its other proposed web initiatives.

Firefly also intends to roll out online vertical classifieds around jobs, matrimonials and real estate.

HT did not provide details but claimed that the relaunched web site was seeing higher page views.

Long term, we are skeptical that the HT group’s forays in the Internet domain will amount to much.

The HT folks are too slow-moving compared to other Indian media players like Times of India. Come on, it took HT decades to launch a business newspaper. And Mint, HT’s busines daily is still published only in Delhi and Bombay. The Bangalore edition of Mint is expected to show up sometime in the third quarter.

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