As many people predicted it would, Yahoo’s acquired a location-based social network, announcing the deal this morning. But rather than buy Foursquare, which was the subject of numerous acquisition rumors, Yahoo picked up Koprol, an organization based in Indonesia.
Koprol’s operation should sound familiar, anyway. Yahoo explained in a statement, "Koprol allows people to connect and share photos, reviews and additional information about locations in real-time using just their mobile phone browser, making the service accessible to a larger percentage of mobile users. Once on Koprol, people can ‘check-in’ to their current location and see where others are and what they are doing."
So this purchase may represent an effective way for Yahoo to get Foursquare-like tech while presumably (financial terms were not disclosed) allowing it to pay a much smaller price. And it looks those savings will now go towards doing some interesting things with said tech.
An Indonesian-language version of Koprol is on the way for starters. Additionally, new business accounts and applications for global mobile platforms will have the potential to make Koprol popular and profitable in many other parts of the world.
Rose Tsou, a senior vice president at Yahoo Asia, observed, "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. Koprol was uniquely designed for mobile phones and within a year has already built a strong user base."