The social network, Lotus, was officially launched in Hanoi, earlier this week. It is centred around content that is developed and owned by Vietnamese people.
Lotus is working with over 500 content creators in 20 different fields such as education, economy, photography, story writing, blog/vlog writing, lifestyle, entertainment, music, and marketing. It also includes more than 30 formal news sources.
The Minister of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Manh Hung, attended the launching ceremony. He said that Lotus is a meeting of technology workers. It involves Vietnamese investors and the government’s ‘Make in Vietnam’ programme.
It is necessary to have more tripartite combinations to solve the problems of the country to help Vietnam develop, an official press release said.
The project was developed by over 200 technical engineers working in various fields of mobile applications, artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing. When users join the social network, they will get a protected account, identity, and specialised CMS (content management system).
The CMS helps content creators design and edit their products to reflect their unique styles and characteristics. The developer, the VCCorp Communication Technology Company, has built toolbars to help users to easily create more new content.
The VCCorp general director said that on Lotus, everyone will be a content creator. It will provide tools so that the users can easily make their own entries.
Regarding bad and illegal content, Lotus has a tech-based mechanism and a censorship team to detect and immediately handle issues, especially fake news. Particularly for information that has not been adequately verified, Lotus will prioritise displaying official news sources such as press agencies or insiders.
The beta version of Lotus is scheduled to run for three to six months.
After this, Lotus will adjust minor mistakes and formally accept new users. It will also receive feedback from the public to add more necessary features or content. With the theme “Content is King”, the VND700 billion (around US$30.1 million) network will attract users with diverse and quality content.
The developer is calling for an additional VND500 billion (US$21.5 million) for the social network’s long-term development. In the first phase, it aims to attract four million users, 20 million users in the second phase, and 60 million users in the last phase.
The MIC Minister called for the creation of a home-grown social media network and search engine to replace global players.
Over the last few years, several social networks have been launched by domestic businesses, including Hahalolo and Gapo.
Gapo was launched with two million users and an investment of US $21.5 million.
According to its developer, Vietnamese users have limited options for social media networks, therefore, Gapo was built to meet local demands as a safer choice with better customer services. It was not created to compete with Facebook but aims to give users another option in social networking.
An industry expert said that building social networks and search engines by Vietnamese people not only benefits the society and users but also brings economic benefits from the revenue of digital advertising, thereby creating opportunities for domestic businesses.