Yahoo Buys Koprol, Doesn't Need Foursquare Anymore

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-05-25

Yahoo on May 25 made its second purchase in as many weeks, acquiring location-based social service Koprol for an undisclosed sum.

The deal was sealed one month after Yahoo was rumored to be trying to buy popular check-in service Foursquare and just one week after agreeing to purchase Associated Content for a reported $100 million.

The Indonesia-based Koprol offers a social service that lets people share photos, reviews and location information from their Web-enabled phones.

In acquiring Koprol, Yahoo is effectively trying to capitalize on the check-in craze fomented by Foursquare, whose users get mayoral badges for checking into bars and restaurants with their smartphones.

Koprol users "check-in" to their current location and see where others are and what they are doing, just as more than 1 million users do on Foursquare. Koprol keeps a database of locations users check into.

Like Foursquare, Koprol enables user ratings to let its users communicate information about popular local businesses, including a "thumbs-up" feature to highlight favorite places. Users can also start or join discussions based on particular locations and invite friends to participate.

Yahoo wants Koprol's location database as part of its plan to bring more "personally relevant content to its global users on multiple devices and access points." 

Rose Tsou, senior vice president of Yahoo's Asia region, said in a statement Koprol will help Yahoo extend its tendrils to many new to Net users in emerging markets.

Expect Yahoo to integrate Koprol capabilities across properties and applications where it makes sense to mobilize and socialize content.

Specifically, Yahoo said it will support Koprol's new BlackBerry application and will help develop new mobile applications for local and global mobile platforms in the future. Expect support for Apple's iPhone and Google Android down the road.

"You can expect our planned features to be delivered faster than previously thought - including mobile apps, an Indonesian language version, business accounts, and who knows what else we have in store for you," the Koprol team said in a blog post.

The Koprol buy caps a busy two days of mobile-oriented news for Yahoo.

Yahoo and Nokia struck a deal May 24 in which Nokia will become the global provider of Yahoo's map and navigation services, with Yahoo becoming the global provider of Nokia's Ovi e-mail and messenger services. 

This deal is geared to help Yahoo and Nokia better compete with Apple, Google and Microsoft in the mobile Web market.
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