[Startups in Korea] ABLAR Company’s ‘Juspot’ Helps Communities Connect

Since Foursquare made it big, more and more location-based apps have been appearing on the smartphone scene. South Korea has its fair share of “clone apps” which initially caused me to be skeptical of Juspot, assuming it was just another “check in” app. On closer investigation I realized that this location-based app was actually a new way for people to connect with one another.

Juspot was released by startup ABLAR company in late October for both the iPhone and Android. The company was founded by Chester Roh who previously founded the the startup, Tatter&Company — later acquired by Google. ABLAR company strives to solve problems which users have in the offline world using online solutions.

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While most other location apps are based around letting other users know what specific venues they have visited, Juspot instead focuses on creating a place for local communities to connect with each other. Users post and share photos, experiences and information with others from their “Juspot Zone”. Juspot Zones are predetermined, popular areas which users 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 may seem similar to Path, Juspot is an open social-network more akin to Twitter. All posts are public and users can follow other “Juspoters”, plus 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 a post. As nearly all users prefer to upload photos in their posts, the tool is very handy to make a simple photo look a bit more “arty”.

Despite the app still being in the open-beta phase, user activity has been fairly high. Users can easily leave comments or like each other’s photos. Though the startup has not yet released a profit model for Juspot, Roh explains why the company does not see this as a main priority yet.

“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 expect that it will be able to make agreements with businesses inside Juspot Zones once the app gains traction. It also intends to begin marketing Juspot globally in the latter half of next year, starting in New York. ABLAR Company are also currently developing another service called “LogBook” which will be targeted at cafes and restaurants who deal with a large number of reservations and customers.

Juspot can be download from Android Market or the App Store.
You can visit Juspot’s website here and ALBAR company’s English website here.

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