MIH Launches Payment Module, Social Net, Classified Search And More

MIH India has launched another payment module called ibQash for users of their social media portal ibibo. Users will be classified in six “leagues” based on the level of activity on ibibo, which determines the quantum of payment to users. The other payment module “Great Indian Blogger Hunt” had issues of some people copy-pasting content from elsewhere, and ibibo has asked users to report abuse. Still, I remain skeptical about the whole concept of paying users to blog – money doesn’t buy loyalty. And how feasible is it, since this is not an advertising revenue share – it’s an out-and-out payment for usage…anyone remember the defunct Mailmetoday.com from the India Today group?

Ibibo has also launched polls – both online and mobile – and a classifieds search for cities, jobs, restaurants and (surprisingly) matrimony, called ‘dwaar‘. Gaming sites chotafish and motafish are now ibibo kids and ibibo games respectively.

The more interesting initiative is a social networking site called Cafe ibibo, that requires users to disclose and verify their mobile number, and is hence positioned as being ‘safer’ than other social nets. There are some usability issues and bugs, though – I couldn’t figure out how to upload my photo directly to my ibibo cafe profile. Someone sent me a friend request, and when I checked the profile, it still displayed my name with his profile. There are no groups yet at Cafe ibibo. I also noticed two more sites via the footer at bixee.com (which MIH acquired) – classifieds listing Apnamarket.com and questionbank.net.