Yahoo! Koprol to Relaunch In May, Refocuses on Neighborhoods
DailySocial made our way downtown Wednesday morning to Yahoo Indonesia’s offices at Sentra Senayan II to take a sneak peak at what the people there were up to. Hours earlier came news that Sunnyvale is going to wield the axe this week over 2000 employees across the globe. A massive layoff is coming. The mood at Yahoo Indonesia though, showed nothing of the sort. Instead, we were greeted like it was any other day and they still held meetings, discussions, and doing things as per their daily grind.
We’re not going to talk about the layoffs though. We were there to check out what they were doing with Koprol, the location based service that Yahoo bought back in May 2010. We have written plenty about the service from cheerleading them to admonishing them for having fallen far behind the competitors and even against the new kid on the block, Path. We were shown what they call Koprol 2.0. If you think the redesign that they did last year was 2.0, it wasn’t. This is a major rework. The core of Koprol is still there but it’s a brand new service that more accurately reflects how Koprol is actually used by the majority of its users.
Asked about the usage numbers which seemingly dropped significantly since November of last year, Koprol’s project lead Satya Witoelar admitted that there had been a drop but not as big as suggested on Koprol’s Facebook page because most Koprol users he said don’t link their logins to Facebook.
Most of Koprol’s members are not smartphone-wielding individuals. The second largest number of users on Koprol are BlackBerry users and even they only make up less than 10% of the numbers. Around 80% access Koprol from Opera mini. This basically means people who use regular mobile phones, the mass market.
The new Koprol is going back to the core of the service. Instead of trying to play catch up with the competitors, it is heading in a different direction. The Koprol team discovered that its members are keen on conversations and they want to know the people around them. They don’t care about checking in to venues and not interested in deals. They love the Stamps though and they want to talk about their neighborhoods and what is going on around them. With these in mind, guess what’s gone from the new Koprol and guess what’s staying?
Koprol 2.0 has a new, yet familiar interface, one that focuses on neighborhood conversations. In each location, it will show you what it calls Top Locals. These are the people who have the most conversations in that particular neighborhood. The ones who has the most to say.
Conversations will be grouped by locations and you don’t even have to be in that particular place to talk about it because you’re expected to talk and leave comments about those neighborhoods regardless of your location. I told Witoelar that I see the new Koprol as a neighborhood message board and he probably could use that as a tagline.
In other words, the new Koprol will drive you to talk more about what’s going around your area or the areas you care about. Perhaps it’s even truer to Koprol’s original intention back in 2009 because it’s all about being local. Location is still at the core of the service but it looks like checkins are a thing of the past.
Get ready for the new Koprol, it’s coming in May to feature phones and BlackBerrys while Android and iPhone apps to come later. Probably much later since hardly anybody uses Koprol from these top smartphones. You can see the larger version of the picture on dailylicious.
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