Wakoopa, the software scrobbling service, launched ‘Alexa-like‘ statistics earlier this week. Co-founder of Wakoopa and Next Web blogger Robert Gaal told me during a drink in the fancy club 11 – overlooking Amsterdam – why these visuals are relevant to software users. “When users decide whether or not to use a program, they can check our statistics to see if the program is an one-hit-wonder, or if it has proved its value to many users on a longer term. The visuals also give smaller programs a chance, since users are able to check if some programs are suddenly getting more popular.”
The launch made it to Techcrunch, where Nick Gonzalez wrote a positive article about the new service. The first time Gonzalez blogged about Wakoopa, comments were deadly. Two days ago however, visitors expressed their appreciation for Wakoopa. At first, Gaal was pretty shocked by the negative comments in April: “The first comment just consisted of one word: ‘useless’. That’s really hard to take after months of working. For a moment there, I lost hope.”
Just for a moment though, because Gaal and his business partner Wouter Broekhof just kept on going. “After all, those few comments are just today’s fad. We’ve emailed those negative guys, asking them what they didn’t like about our service. Their criticism was useful. Moreover, we managed to convince most of them that Wakoopa isn’t a threat to their privacy”.
Today, the software service doesn’t seem ‘useless’ anymore. 17.000 people downloaded the Wakoopa tracking program, generating unique and seriously useful data about software.
Yet, the question arises, what’s the use for the Wakoopa users themselves? Sure, Broekhof and Gaal do have access to valuable info now, but what are they giving back to the people? Gaal: “Wakoopa is helping people getting to know software. Rather than looking at the box in stores or using the trial versions, you can now read the reviews of other Wakoopa users – who are passionate about software. In an age where more and more software programs and different operating systems emerge, this is a really relevant function.”
Though Wakoopa isn’t the only site offering software reviews, they do have a major advantage. Gaal: “When an user writes a review, we know exactly how much he has used the program and what kind of program he likes.” Talking about credibility.
When Gonzalez wrote that the statistics give a ‘geeky view on software use’, he sure had a point. Gaal: “Our two most important groups are software developers and gamers, so I guess you can call them geeks. We’ll probably never become a mainstream service. However, our users are the early adopters, and in a few years, people will likely use the programs they are using now.”
The guys from Wakoopa are pretty ambitious. In a few years, they want to become the place for software information. “We will achieve this by building more features, supporting all the operating systems and creating smashing visualizations”, Gaal promises us. Does that mean they will eventually move to the Valley? “In the beginning of next year, we want to stay there for a while and if we like it, we’ll probably live there.”
“When Techcrunch wrote that we would move to the San Fransisco, I received a call from a worried friend”, Gaal laughs. “He said that he had a party on Saturday and wondered whether I would still be able to come or not.”
The Wakoopa team won’t be on a plane Saturday, but it’s just a matter of months before they will. We’ll keep following these guys and their interesting software service.