Poland has home-grown clones of every internet giant. If you’re Polish the chances are you don’t use Facebook, you use Nasza Klasa; you don’t use Skype, you use Gadu-Gadu; you don’t use Digg, you use Wykop; you don’t use The Onion, you use Polandian*; and you certainly don’t use eBay, you use Allegro.
The phenomenon of nation-specific versions of internet blockbusters has had web gurus scratching their heads for some time now (it’s a phenomenon that is certainly not unique to Poland). After all, every one of these international services allows you to converse, sell, bitch, moan and idly chat in every language under the sun, so why do language-specific clones of these sites do so well in their home countries?
Rather than hurt my brain trying to answer this question I present two examples from eBay Polska that may go some way towards an explanation:
Not a business I think I’ll bother getting into
…on the other hand
*notice the clever way I associated us with multi-million dollar websites there, that’s what I get paid for… no, wait, that’s not right