Global Voices Uzbekistan blogger Ekaterina has a new post discussing Uzbekistan's recently launched Facebook competitor, amusingly called "YouFace." As you can see from the image above, it's pretty clear where the site got its design inspiration. Ekaterina writes:
The domain name is owned by an Uzbek national named Ayubhon Abdullaev. He has admitted [ru] that the new social network service resembles Facebook “at first sight”. However, according to Abdullaev, the service's design “will be changed” as soon as its Facebook look helps attract more users. He also announced that the goal of Youface is to “boost patriotism among young people in Uzbekistan”. It is not surprising than that the website's welcome page quotes Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov: “Our children must be stronger, smarter, and happier than we are”.
Some security experts worry that the site's design might confuse users who think they're logging on to Facebook but wind up putting their personal information into YouFace instead. The site's administrators are upfront about the fact that they can keep archived versions of all content posted to user profiles.
Savvy Facebook users probably won't be fooled, but this is a subtler approach than Iran's proposed "halal" Internet or North Korea's Kwangmyong. I'd imagine China's enormously successful but carefully monitored Weibo might be more the inspiration here.