Top Web Apps in Latvia

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.

Social networks

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.

One.lv is the fifth most popular site in Latvia – it’s
mostly popular in the russian community. draugiem.lv
(above) is mostly made up of latvians.

Klase.lv, Orb.lv and http://amigos.inbox.lv/ are smaller social networks.
But generally because the market is so small, most users frequent the popular web SNS
like draugiem.lv and One.lv.

Digg clone

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??). 

Youtube clones

Latvija.tv and Mansvideo.lv are the two main ones. As you can see below,
Latvija.tv is almost identical to YouTube.

Search

Google is the second most popular site in Latvia and in the search niche it is
dominant. Domestic searches like siets.lv and smart.delfi.lv are not very well used.

Photos

Fotki.lv and poga.lv

Del.icio.us clone

saites.lv

Online Classifieds

ss.lv (similar to craigslist)

Portals

Delfi.lv was the first old style portal in Latvia. It is
primarily a news site and has a Russian version at rus.delfi.lv.

Apollo.lv and tvnet.lv
are also popular portals in Latvia.

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.

Blogs

Klab.lv, six.lv and blogiem.lv are the top blogging
platforms.

Bloggers

The highest ranking Latvian bloggers are listed on this page: six.lv/rank. Maksim’s
blog
is ranked number 1, with an overall Technorati rank of 9,549.

Summary

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.

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