The fact that American social media Twitter is set to open its new branch office in Jakarta and the strong interest of Bakrie Global showed in investing in Path (despite all the outcry and condemnation) indicates how promising our market has become to anyone who is willing to make money from social media niche. After Koprol emerged and got acquired by Yahoo years ago and wilted afterwards after Yahoo decided to let it go, a new social media startup once again emerges to attract the never-bored young (or young in spirit) consumers in Indonesia.
Sebangsa.com is another digital platform launched recently trying to blend the staple features of social media platforms (those we find on Facebook and Twitter) with local cultures. By default, you won’t see English is used in the iOS and Android apps of Sebangsa, because it’s aimed for Indonesians, which is great! But for those who preferr English, there’s an option of Eglish as well.
Founded by all Indonesian founders (Enda Nasution and Adi P. Widjonarko), Sebangsa could be the real Indonesia substitute for Facebook and Twitter.
As I explored the platform, I found I can post a bit longer than a tweet but not as long as a Facebook status, which confuses me. As a blogger who gets used to write longer than tweets, this is a ‘flaw’. But the concept of Sebangsa is more like Twitter than Facebook in my opinion. There are groups like what you can find on Facebook but there’s a follow button and timeline and hashtags.
But what sets Sebangsa apart from the rest of the social media services is two features called “Sebangsa 911” and “Sebangsa 1800”. In Sebangsa 911, you’ll find a panic message and precautionary message feature when emergency strikes or you’re under risky circumstances. Meanwhile, Sebangsa 1800 is very much like fanpages on Facebook or verified Twitter accounts of famous brands and public figures. You’re encouraged to ask information about service providers or corporates or small medium enterprises you wish to know more or think too cool to miss.
Like Path, Sebangsa also enables you to cross-update your thoughts and content on Facebook and Twitter, but not on Tumblr, WordPress or Foursquare.
Like I said on my first update on my Sebangsa account, I’m wondering whether this social media platform would become the next big thing or just vanish in a matter of years like Koprol. Time will tell.