Blottr is the “people-powered news service” that has thus far allowed UK citizen journalists to capture, collaborate and report on news where they live. And now, it seems, it’s going international.
Blottr was the brainchild of London-based entrepreneur Adam Baker, who funded the initial roll-out back in September 2010. And in May this year, the startup secured £1m in investment.
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Blottr currently has 1.4m uniques a month in the UK and, up until this week, the service focused on 8 cities – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Leicester, London and Manchester. But a year on from launch, Blottr is now looking further afield and has launched a localized version of the service for France.
The site is now live (blottr.fr) though it’s officially launching in Paris on Monday, and it will initially focus on Paris, Lyon and Marseille. “This is a significant move for the business as we aim to build on our UK success and take citizen journalism into Europe”, says Baker.
Baker says the service will be expanding rapidly internationally over the next 6 months with Germany up next, launching on October 24th (blottr.de), initially focusing on Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. “We plan to have Blottr in more than 10 countries and 50 cities within the next 6 months”, continued Baker.
Blottr has brought in ‘Country Managers’ from France and Germany to lead the launches, both of whom work from the London headquarters. Translators were brought in to localize the site, whilst the content will be populated by ‘citizen journalists’ from France and Germany.
Earlier this year we covered Blottr’s NewsPoint, which saw it open its technology to enable third-party publishers to crowdsource content for their own platforms. And then it launched dedicated mobile apps back in July. So can we expect to see these to be fully localized too? “We are engineering the app for these new languages and geo-territories, which should be ready to launch sometime in December”, says Baker. “We will also begin licensing NewsPoint to local publishers in these countries as part of our monetization strategy”.
Baker says he expects each new launch to generate around 250,000 uniques/500,000 page-views from month one, growing to over a million uniques in each country by the end of the first quarter in 2012.