If Yahoo can’t afford to buy Foursquare, might as well buy something that offers something similar to the location-based mobile community site. And that’s what Yahoo just did as it buys Kropol an Indonesian startup which lets users interact and share knowledge about their community via their mobile phones.
Koprol lets its members connect and share photos, reviews and additional informaiton about locations in real-time using just their mobile phone browser. Now here’s the similarity with Foursquare comes in, once users are in Kropol, they can “check-in” to the their current location as well as seem where others are and what they are doing. Kropol allows users to find local businesses, including popular shops or restaurants which are recommended by users. The service also has a “thumbs-up” feature which enables most favorited places to get into the top of the list.
So where does Kropol’s features and service fit into Yahoo’s online strategy? According to a post on Yodel Anecdotal, Kropol would extend Yahoo’s social, mobile and local offerings and focuses on the intersection of location, community experts and mobile experiences.
“Users are increasingly relying on mobile devices to communicate and access the Internet and they are looking for seamless integration between those devices and PCs. This is especially true in many emerging markets where we are introducing the Yahoo! brand to many new-to-Net users,” said Rose Tsou, senior vice president, Asia Region at Yahoo!. “Koprol was uniquely designed for mobile phones and within a year has already built a strong user base. Yahoo! provides the global scale and technology to accelerate growth in Indonesia as well as introduce the service to new markets.”