Foursquare vs Koprol

Mon 14 February 2011 10:00, Vitto Christaldi

Foursquare vs Koprol

The journey of the online market in Indonesia continues. Before I start comparing both social networks, I will introduce you to Yahoo! Koprol, the local location-based social network from Indonesia. It started with the name Koprol (means “somersault” in Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch) in 2008, founded by three young Indonesian entrepreneurs: Fajar Budiprasetyo, Satya Witoelar, and Daniel Armanto. It was the fastest local social network in Indonesia and Yahoo! was interested to do acquisition with Koprol. In May 2010, Koprol was acquired and officially called Yahoo! Koprol.

The biggest competitor of Yahoo! Koprol in Indonesia as many of you might have guessed is the fastest growing location-based social network in the world: Foursquare. Foursquare has succeeded to spread its wings, not only in The United States, but also to Europe and Asian countries like Japan and Indonesia. In two years time, Foursquare has reached 6.000.000 users around the world. Pretty successful for a new comer!
So let's compare both sites!


*  Mayorships: the title for users with the most check-in at one place

According to Koprol's official blog, they have grown from only 150.000 users before the acquisition with Yahoo! to 1.000.000 user in November 2010. Besides significant growth of users, Yahoo has also rolled Koprol out to international markets such as Thailand and Vietnam. Unfortunately, no official statistics have been published by Foursquare about the number of users per country, so I cannot compare them.

Yahoo! Koprol offers the users to have conversations with other users in the same place or communities. There you can post a shout and other users can write comments on what you said. It looks like Facebook, or even more, it is like the combination of Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare (you share what you are doing by attaching the place while other people can place comments on you). In Yahoo! Koprol, you can also check-in using both computer or mobile phone, while Foursquare check-in can only be done by mobile phones.

Just like Foursquare, “the koprollers” can write reviews/tips on the places they visited. You can also post photos on both Yahoo! Koprol and Foursquare. In this way, users can have visuals on what is going on, live, around the place. But in Yahoo! Koprol, new places have to be approved by “the kurators” (people that are appointed by Yahoo! Koprol to verify new places), so there won't be “double places” like in Foursquare.

Of course, there is a downside of the features that Yahoo! Koprol offers. From the experience that I had with the website, most of the times I see people posting unimportant information in one place. The design of Foursquare on the other hand is simple and not full with “what-is-on-your-mind” information from people that we do not even know.

Also, two features that Foursquare has which others don't are “badges” and “mayorships”. In my opinion, not only the Indonesians, almost every active user in Foursquare is attracted because of these two features. It makes people compete with each other to get as much badges and mayorships as possible.

One last special thing that Yahoo! Koprol offers for Indonesians is the “gotong royong” (in Bahasa Indonesia, it means the community spirit of sharing and togetherness). While Foursquare development is still concentrated in The United States, Yahoo! Koprol gives Indonesians the chance to explore places in Indonesian way.

I personally see a promising future from Yahoo! Koprol in Asian markets. So watch out Foursquare, better pay more attention to your Asian market or be square!

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