Tue, January 15th, 13:24 ·

No Strings Attached, South Africa’s latest social media site

“No-strings” is the driving concept behind a new South African social network, or “hookups” site, creating a one-stop profile and chat site for the more promiscuous seeking similar encounters.

The No Strings Attached (NSA) website’s initial planning lasted six months before founder Willem Wilken, from Sandton, Gauteng, established a website on New Years Eve (December 31) 2012.

The NSA site went live on January 4 and during the twelve days its been active, the site has managed to attract 127 single people, though only 18 of them have since set up permanent profiles.

This is due to the site being available free to its subscribers for the first two months of their registration, thereafter a fixed monthly price of R50 (US$5.70) applies. Wilken has found that the bulk of the subscribers stopped past the registration stage, but the site does allow for profile updates.

Speaking to HumanIPO, Wilken said he identified a market for a social networking site based on “months of research”, concluding that “people don’t want relationships anymore and simply want one night-stands”.

Wilken added: “Given this, I came up with the idea for NSA, a one-stop site where singles come together regardless of sexual preference, as we cater for all.”

At present Wilken is a senior accounts manager with a bachelor’s degree in BCOMPT Accounting Science.

NSA is currently only available in South Africa, but Wilken is open to the idea of expanding into the African and international space for social networking if NSA proves to attract a market from the rest of the globe.

Wilken is aware that he has entered a very competitive market, with many sites that are similar together with the giants in social networking, but he believes NSA will attract subscribers through its unique edge as well as the features offered.

The unique edge about NSA as described by Wilken is its total inclusion of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transexual) community while paying attention to its heterosexual subscribers. Wilken also believes the simplicity of a fixed low monthly price will be an attracting feature due to his experience of dating sites costing a minimum of R115 (US$13.10).

Aside from the usual profiles and instant chat options offered by most social media sites, NSA features a live video chat option. “People will see that it is affordable and they’ll get value for their money,” said Wilken.

In the face of all the free social networks on the Internet, Wilken is confident that a R50 fee will not deter subscribers from joining the site because it is the “cheapest site” out of nine that Wilken studied.

The methods of payment are also convenient for subscribers, who can choose between an EFT, credit card payments, cash transfer sites such as mimoney or Ukash as well as an SMS service that will deduct the appropriate amount from a subscriber’s airtime.

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