Do Foreign Social Medias Harm Indonesia’s Local Medias?
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Do Foreign Social Medias Harm Indonesia’s Local Medias?
According to Alexa.com, the top 5 most accessed websites by the Indonesians in order are Facebook, Google.co.id, Google.com, Blogspot.com and Youtube. These websites are mostly international websites (even Google.co.id cannot be claimed as Indonesia’s even though it uses Bahasa Indonesia).
Honestly, it’s not really surprising to find these websites on the top of any countries’ list. These social platforms offer great features and services to its customers and some of them are pretty revolutionary as well therefore it’s understandable why these websites have a great customer loyalty. What makes it more impressive is the fact that all these medias use English as their primary language, but somehow they still have a lot of loyal fans in countries whose main language is not English.
How is it possible?
Localization of the products, that’s the answer.
Since most Americans use English in their daily activities, some of them may not know that many websites like Facebook and MSN offer their services in many other languages. Some examples are Google.co.id or Yahoo.co.jp which basically are the same with their English counterparts however with different languages. These localizations have made it easier for non-English speakers to gain equal enjoyment from these websites even though they speak no English.
So localization is all good, but what are the implications to the local social platforms?
To some extent, localization can be a nightmare for local developers. The popularities of foreign social medias are tremendous and it would be a hard challenge for local people to come up with more innovative ideas compared to their rivals. Even if they are able to come up with good ideas, it will be a challenge to enter the market because they will need to come up with good tactics to attract people to trying the local products.
However, it is not a lost cause. International social platforms actually helped a lot in making countries becoming more advanced. Let’s take Indonesia as an example. This island country has just been exposed to the internet for around 20 years. However right now, Indonesians are one of the fastest-growing internet markets of the world. People like innovation and they want to keep up with the latest trends and that is exactly what the Indonesians did.
Foreign websites also has significant impacts on the development of Indonesia websites. It’s true that these websites are hindering creative ideas for the local developers. However, on the bright side, these developers are able to adopt some features from foreign medias because it’s unique and widely used by a lot of people. Overall these local developers can create higher quality websites by incorporating foreign concepts into their own. Actually let’s take a look at some of Indonesian websites that managed to become successful as a result of foreign concepts.
Kaskus is website that is established back in 1999 and currently it harbors around 4.7 million members and 627 million posts. Originally Kaskus is only an internet forum where Indonesians can express their freedom of speech. However as technology progresses, Kaskus find themselves caught in the act as well. One of the major additions to the website is the forum Jual/beli. It is a place where people can buy and sell goods starting from $5 T-shirt to $50000 land right property. The concept is pretty similar to USA’s Craigslist.com. However Kaskus doesn’t stop there, they would go on adding Kaskus Radio and Kaskus Mobile which makes it easy for people to browse from mobile phone. This website is always improving in everything they do, no wonder it’s proclaimed as Indonesia’s largest social media.
Tokopedia is an Indonesian website that derives its concept from the famous ebay.com. It is the first official consumer to consumer business website in Indonesia. The company was just started back in 2009. Since the system of C2C business is pretty new to Indonesians, this website has made a revolution in Indonesia and currently is generating a lot of popularities amongst the Indonesians. One of its major strength is that the company collaborated a lot with foreign companies such as netprice.com from Japan in order to gain more financial leverage in the market. This website also uses Facebook as one of their advertising tools making it unique if compared to other local C2C websites.
This is Indonesia’s version of Yelp.com. In Indonesia, social platform like Yelp.com never existed before Urbanesia, people would just spread the word of good restaurants through word of mouth. However Urbanesia really revolutionized the industry, Indonesians can now check the reviews of the restaurants and business around them with ease and then they would be more convinced to try new restaurants and businesses because of the online reviews. Urbanesia has its differences with Yelp. In addition to restaurants and big businesses, this media also take notice of small businesses such as street hawkers, wedding planners, etc whereas Yelp is not really focused on the smallest type of businesses.
These websites are just some example on how local Indonesian products have benefited by adopting foreign concepts. Even though the ideas might not be very original, however this is the reason why Indonesia have been growing very rapidly in the last couple of years. The increased number of social media usages has also attracted a lot of foreign companies to invest in Indonesian, just look at how Yahoo managed to buy Koprol.com which is Indonesia’s version of 4square.com in order to rival 4square. Therefore I believe that Indonesia’s social medias will not be threatened much by local competitors and it’s on the right track to success!