Latvia is a small country in Northern
Europe, next to Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus. It has a population of 2.3
million, around 38% of whom have Internet access. The ethnicity of the population
(Latvians 60%; Russian 30%) is reflected in the small internet market, because most local
web sites and apps have 2 versions – Latvian and Russian. Following is an overview of the
most popular web apps in Latvia. The information in this post was supplied by Maksim.
Draugiem.lv is the most popular web site in Latvia.
Originally it was built on the Friendster model, but now it includes services like music
and video – so it is more like MySpace these days.
Digg.lv is a Latvian digg-like site, based on the open
source Pligg CMS. It’s popular amongst bloggers and
features mostly tech-related news. Note that they even managed to secure the digg domain
in Latvia (which I would guess violates digg.com’s copyright??).
ss.lv (similar to craigslist)
Inbox.lv is the most popular web mail service in Latvia
and practically alone in this niche, for this language. Perhaps this is why Google is promoting Gmail on its Latvia search page (see screenshot above). Some of the portals also have mail
services, but they are not so popular.
It’s fascinating how every country we cover has Digg, YouTube, etc clones. Digg is
especially clone-able it seems (incidentally a New
Zealand digg clone has just been released).
Many thanks to Maksim for
all the great info and screenshots. This post is part of Read/WriteWeb’s continuing
coverage of international Web markets. Other countries profiled so far have been Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, France, Japan, India, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Hungary, Serbia and Croatia.