Media24 to take on Google?
Industry speculation suggests that Media24 has been garnishing support for a project which could see it going head-to-head with Google South Africa. According to an industry source Media24 is planning a new search portal with the support of various shareholders from industry.
This search portal will most likely not be Naspers-controlled as 24.com is, but rather a separate brand with shareholding and support from the local Internet’s bigger players.
Such a project can be seen as an attempt by Media24 and the local online industry to take aim at Google and limit the control which the search giant has in the local online space.
24.com is currently operating its own search service http://search.24.com/ and the 24.com portal. Google has recently established a presence in South Africa, with country manager Stafford Masie promising to significantly enhance the local Internet industry.
“You have to ask if there is space for another online player and someone who can compete with Google if Google is already indexing the whole of South Africa. With services like Google.co.za and Google News it is not an easy company to take on,” said one industry player.