Yello Mobile's location-based SNS '1km' has announced the launch of their international version, which now supports ten different languages including English, Chinese, Spanish, and Thai. Riding the current of 'Korean-Wave', they are targeting South-east Asian and Latin American countries, which are hotspots for Korean popular culture. There is a long term plan to expand their global coverage further in the future.
The app, which uses GPS to connect people within a 1km radius of each other now has 3 million users and launched in December 2012. As well as instant chat, 1km users are able to share their daily life with people within 1km of them, as part of their in-app SNS service. Imagine a personal facebook news feed that is open to the world. The app’s main features are 'Say' and 'Chat,' which anyone who has the app installed can use to connect with any other user on the service who is within 1km. “Someone within 1km can become your best friend or your lover with 1km,” according to a company release. Having test-driven the service it does seem like a very easy way of connecting with new people, primarily for casual dating. They are now taking their service global.
As part of their regional market entry strategy they are not only preparing language support, but also actively hiring locals to more accurately determine local needs. The next stage will be to progress with advertising and marketing campaigns to attract users from overseas.
The global version has already been receiving very positive feedback Southeast Asia and Latin America. But even beyond these regions, 1KM has been gaining popularity in UK and the USA as well. Yellow Mobile considers that this wide appeal demonstrates a genuine opportunity to take the service try global in the near future. Their efforts for initial expansion will provide a sound base from which to plan additional reach.
A major upgrade to the service is expected to be released by next February. This upgrade will contain new features and will also undergo a design overhaul, to reflect localized characteristics.
'1km' Director Sang-chul Kim said, "This is new version is very special because it is the by-product of user’s feedback that we have been gathering for some time. The new update will present customized services to overseas market that we are entering. I am looking forward to the exciting opportunities presented by entering international markets."
'1km' was acquired by Yellow Mobile last January. Thanks to that alliance and on account of a wide range of cross-culture marketing activities the company’s profits have increased by an impressive 30%. Total downloads have also been increased by 10% compared to last year. Currently the app is free to download in the App-store and Google Play store.