Since Foursquare made it big, an increasing number of location-based apps and services have been appearing on the scene. South Korea has its fair share of ‘clone’ apps and this concept can initially cause one to be skeptical of Juspot, which could just be another check-in app. On closer inspection, however, that description is unfair as this location-based app is an interesting new way for people to connect with one another.
Juspot is available for both the iPhone and Android and is produced by Korean startup ABLAR Company, but as yet it can only be used in Korean. The company was started by Chester Roh, who previously founded Tatter&Company — which was subsequently acquired by Google — and it aims to solve offline problems using online solutions.
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While most other location apps are based on users letting each other know what venues they have visited, Juspot instead focuses on creating a platform for local communities to connect through locations.
Users post and share photos, experiences and information with others from their ‘Juspot Zone’, which are predetermined, popular areas which those of the same demographic are likely to frequent. Unlike Foursquare, which can be updated without using GPS or location confirmation, Juspot posts can only be made from inside a Juspot Zone and must be confirmed via the device’s location service.
Though the app’s user interface is similar to Path, Juspot is an open social-network that is more akin to Twitter. All posts are public and users are able to follow other ‘Juspoters’ and send private messages to each other. The most active and popular users are also shown in the ‘hot people’ and ‘hot posts’ section of the app.
One standout feature of Juspot is the ability to manipulate photos from directly inside the app before uploading them. As nearly all users prefer to upload photos in their posts, the tool is a popular function to make a simple photo look more attractive.
The company is yet to announce a profit model for Juspot, which remains in open-beta, however Roh explains that monetisation is not an immediate priority:
Too many startups simply concentrate on how they are going to earn profit. What startups need to focus on is who their customers are and how they intend to solve their cutomers’ problems.
Nevertheless, ABLAR Company expects that, once the app gains greater traction, it will develop an income stream working with businesses that feature inside Juspot Zones. The app is not yet available in English but that will change as an international marketing campaign is planned for next year, starting in New York.
The company is not just relying on Juspot, and the company is developing LogBook, a service targeted at cafes and restaurants who deal with a large number of reservations and customers.