uSchool – a “Facebook for Elementary School Students” – Expands into International Markets 小學生的Facebook 優學網挺進國際市場

Facebook, the USA’s largest social networking site, has over 200 million members. In Taiwan, there is a “Facebook” for elementary school students, uSchool, which has been in existence for nearly 5 years and holds market share of over 80% in the elementary school student market in Taiwan. uSchool has replicated its successful experience in Taiwan by expanding into China, the U.S.A., and Europe; uSchool is determined to establish itself as the world’s Number One elementary school student social networking site.


uSchool CEO Cheng Tzu-yu was sent by his parents to study in the U.S. at the age of 9. After graduating from university he borrowed US$50,000 from his mother (who was in the import-export business) to start up a website with his college roommate. They set up a virtual stock market simulator site, which was acquired by another company in 1999 for US$6 million, and listed on the stock market soon afterwards.

9歲赴美成為小留學生的優學網執行長鄭子昱,大學畢業後跟從事貿易的母親媽媽借了5萬美金,和大學室友開始做網站,當時他們做了一個股票模擬的網站, 1999年被企業以600萬美金併購,不久股票也推動上市。

Using the money that he had earned from his first start-up, Cheng Tzu-yu came back to Taiwan and founded, which began operation in the fall of 2005; towards the end of the next year, Cheng established the uBlog blogging platform. Within two years, uSchool had secured a 50% share of the elementary school student market, and by 2008 it was making a profit. Today, uSchool has a market share of over 80% in the Taiwan market.


Cheng Tzu-yu points out that, in the U.S., children in the 6 – 15 age group have combined direct purchasing power of US$40 billion, and indirect purchasing power of US$146 billion. Rather than trying to capture Taiwan’s 2 million children individually, it made more sense to focus on winning over the 2,600-plus elementary schools in Taiwan. After several years of hard work, uSchool now has over 1 million members, who provide an important foundation for the site’s ongoing development. uSchool is now moving away from a free content model, with the introduction of a “Premium Services” fee-based model. For example, site users who want to use the site’s online testing function have to pay to use it, and children who have already graduated from elementary school but want to keep their class web-page have to pay to keep it.

鄭子昱分析,以美國來看,6~15歲的小朋友掌控了400億美元的直接購買力,但還有1460億美元的間接購買影響力;與其每年想辦法把台灣的200萬小朋友捉進來,還不如把2600多所小學抓好,經過多年的努力,累積了100萬會員,成為優學網最強大的後盾。優學網開始打破免費,開始推廣「Premium Services」的收費模式,譬如,在上面開「線上考試」就要收費;畢業校友想要留住班級網頁,也是要付費的。