On 1 November, a celebrity focus Facebook page Myanmar Celebrities with over 8 million followers has been sold to a media production house for an undisclosed sum.
Duwun Tech has an exclusive interview with the Myanmar Celebrities founder Phyo Min Tun to get a behind the scene story of Myanmar Celebrities and its sales.
During 2012, Phyo Min Tun is a still a university student studying IT in Myanmar and started Myanmar Celebrities out of internet curiously from his dorm room with two other friends who are internet enthusiasts to test viability of social media as a media and marketing tool.
Three of them together would test the online media business by setting up respective Facebook pages with a small operation sharing celebrity photos on the page.
Facebook was popular in Myanmar but not at a level that we are witnessing right now together with the mobile boom.
Mobile and internet boom
Internet was fairly inaccessible at that time and mobile sims were expensive and were traded at $1,000 in black market as Myanmar only had a state-run telecom player MPT.
Everything changed when two new telecom players were added to the telecom landscape in late 2014 which bring down the sim card price to just $1 with fast 3G internet.
‘When we started the Myanmar Celebrities in 2012, number of Facebook users in Myanmar was only 400,000. After new telecoms were introduced, the Facebook users increases to about 800,000 in one month’ said Phyo Min Tun
From late 2014 and onwards, the page was seeing exponential growth in both followers and engagement rising from 500,000 monthly engagement to 10 million engagement within six months.
The follower growth has also quadruple from 100,000 a month to nearly 400,000 a month.
Seizing the opportunity, Phyo added a relatively small operation team of three people to handle the page to give the audience faster celebrity updates on Myanmar Celebrities.
Later on the page was making money through native ads from brands, content partnerships and reach partnerships leverage on massive growth in engagement that sees within a very short period.
Phyo started to add content writers and videographer to further strengthen the coverage.
By August 2017, the operation size grew to 10 people, the page is seeing 18 million engagement a month with over 8 million followers
A change in focus
However Phyo was running the team remotely from Bangkok and going back and forth between Myanmar and Thailand to close business deals has started to affect work-life balance.
As he starts to lose focus, Phyo realized that a successor is needed to maintain its legacy and starting look for suitable buyers to take over his business.
Later on, Phyo had made a decision to transferred MCs to Media 7 when an opportunity was given to continue his academic studies to Ph.D.
As of 1 November, an announced was made that Media 7 has acquire the page and rebranded into Myanmar Cele 7. Media 7 is a film and entertainment production giant in Myanmar.
So far, Myanmar Cele 7 has not produced content for its page rather serving as a promotional medium sharing announcements and advertisements from a several other pages that are owned by Media 7.
CrowdTangle Intelligence says Myanmar Cele 7 is net losing about 500 to 1,000 followers a day for the last week.
Phyo has moved on to another career path and now took the offer from Wolfcom, a camera manufacturer as the country lead in Thailand and expand his academic study in to PHD.