Kaskus- Indonesia’s largest online forum

Kaskus is the biggest online forum for discussion and selling in Indonesia. On Kaskus, you can find everything you need since it has million users who eagerly exchange information and knowledge, creating community and also buying/selling goods or services at the very best prices.

Kaskus mainly has two features, forum and Forum Jual Beli (FJB) which is the selling-buying forum. Forum is the platform for users to discuss every issue ranging from social, pop culture, politics, economy, etc,. Most conversations discussed in Kaskus are mainly issues that are not covered in news or are sometime sensitive issues. A user can start a discussion topic in a community group to attract users giving opinion in the posted topic. FJB mainly focuses  on selling and buying goods and services at affordable price. Often, the prices of goods and services are below market price which strongly attracted people to do transactions within Kaskus forums.

When it was founded and how?

Kaskus was founded on November 6, 1999 in the United States by Andrew Dervish, Ronald Stephanus, and Budi Darmawan, – three young Indonesian men who were studying in Seattle, Washington. At the initial creation, Kaskus was meant to be a chit-chat forum for Indonesian students who study abroad thus Kaskus itself is abbreviation of Kasak-kusuk in Indonesian, which means gossip news.

However, the site didn’t remain an exclusive gossiping forum, rather it developed to be the biggest community online platform ever in Indonesia which connected millions of young people through their chat forums. Since it achieved a million users in August 2005, PC Magazine awarded  Kaskus as the best and largest community website, then was re-elected as the best  website of PC Magazine reader’s choice in 2006.

However, the success of Kaskus didn’t come with ease. The website faced technical problems in 2006 when it was attacked by the Brontok Virus. Thus, the Kaskus’ management changed the domain from kaskus.com to kaskus.us. In 2007, when the increasing of users was quite significant, the management provided 2 Dell servers to enhance website performance. The milestone of the Kaskus happened in 2008 when the management decided to operate Kaskus’s servers in Indonesia by buying eight Dell PowerEdge 2950 server and operating through a network of open IXP. Then afterward, the improved strength of the servers capacity was continued; by September 2008 the company operated sixteen servers in total.

On 16-17 May 2008, Kaskus was attacked using DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) by someone who was allegedly from Yogyafree community. The attack caused  Kaskus’s database to be corrupted which forced the administrators to lock threads in Kaskus. The attack was allegedly linked with destruction events (defacement) Yogyafree site a few days earlier. An attacker who claimed himself as a member of Kaskus also declaim the mocking tone in one part Yogyafree forum. It is making some members Yogyafree otters, and then attacked Kaskus with DDoS. As a result, administrators were forced to shut down the servers at Kaskus. Cyber war between the two communities finally ended when the second memorandum signed an online site manager to settle the dispute between them.

Beginning in 2011, Kaskus announced the expansion of its business by establishing a cooperation with the Global Digital Prima which is a subsidiary of PT Djarum, Indonesia’s biggest tobacco company owned by notable Chinese conglomerate. In addition, Kaskus also added the number of servers for 250 units and expanded its business by recruiting more employees.

Up until 2011, the Kaskus domain ended with .us but they were forced to change it to .co.id as a result of DNS issues in Indonesia.

 

Who Invested in the Company?

In 2011, Kaskus announced partnership with Global Digital Prima (GDP) Venture, part of Djarum Group, but the management did not disclose the amount of investment. It was also declared that even if Kaskus received investment from such a conglomerate company, it would stay independent as an online forum. Ken Dean Lawadinata, CEO of Kaskus Networks, claimed that the investment aimed to expand the business such as making improvements in Forum Komunitas (Community Forum) and Forum Jual Beli (FJB) (Trading Forum), optimization of KasPay payment system, KasAd advertising platform, as well as providing mobile space.

The Kaskus’s investor, GDP Venture Djarum Group, is a business unit that focuses on the consumer Internet business. Djarum Group (PT Djarum) has a long history of doing business in the consumer sector. PT Global Digital Prima (GDP) is a pure-owned Venture Djarum Group as the initiative project to  engage with potential consumers in internet sector. Previously, the company also engaged in the marketplace project called Blibli.com (PT Global Digital Commerce).

 

Website’s Rank and Users

Kaskus.co.id is in 6th rank among Indonesian websites according to Alexa.com. The visitors come from various countries but majority come from Indonesia which accounted for 93.4%, 1.0 % from China, 0.9% fro Singapore and 0.7% from Cambodia.

In April 2015, Kaskus announced that it has reached 8 million members who are registered in the website. Ronny Sugiadha, Chief Marketing Officer of Kaskus explained that by holding eight million members, Kaskus has successfully proved its unique vision in its community basis business and furthermore would emphasize infrastructure to Kaskuser communities scattered throughout Indonesia and even worldwide. Ronny also claimed that in 2015, there were 530 community categories registered in Kaskus. The company’s strategy is to engage more with those communities is by having roadshow programs to meet up with those communities around the country. Furthermore, Ronny also revealed that Kaskus has at least 28 million unique visitors each month, as well as able to reach 120,000 registered members in Kaskus in monthly basis.

Lately, Kaskus received international award of “Best Digital Communication Strategy” in an event called the PR Awards 2016 held by Marketing magazine in Singapore. The event itself was attended by 400 participants from various countries around Asia and Australia such as Australia, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Kaskus won the award for its project called Kaskus Cendolin Indonesia Program which claimed to be used by users across countries. Ronny W. Sugiadha, Kaskus’ Chief Marketting Officer (CMO) said in interview with Tempo.co that the award has proved Kaskus already been used by international community.

 

Business Insight

According to interview with Ronny Sugiadha, Chief Marketing Officer of Kaskus, in May 2015, Kaskus’s revenue at current year was below Rp 100 billion. He added that company aimed to reach revenue amounted to Rp 200 billion in the next two years.  In order to do that, according to Ronny, Kaskus will be looking for ways to increase the number of its users and financial transaction activities of its members. He claimed that main revenue of Kaskus came from advertising services, donators, and hot trends. Approximately, said Ronny, Kaskus has around 28 million visitors per month and expected to gain increased members by 120,000 monthly. It also said that Kaskus page accessed until 700 million and around 4,000 threads created in daily basis.

The Users

Most of the Kaskus users identified as young people which in 2015 amounted to 8 million users. According to Chief Marketing Officer Kaskus Ronny W. Sugiadha, Kaskus planned to expand its users to women community by creating designated forum for women. He claimed that more than 50% of Kaskus members are men. Besides, Kaskus aimed to specialized its marketing strategy for engaging with 30’s years old users.

Kaskus’s Features

As the biggest community online platform in Indonesia, Kaskus has three main features offered to its users. Firstly is Forum which is a platform for the users to discuss any kind of topic and create online community based in certain interest. The forum itself was the original idea of Kaskus creation, as a platform for Indonesian students in US to discuss. But later on, it was developed to be biggest online community platform ever existed with million members registered. In terms of community culture, Kasku users has creatively created Indonesian slang words which are used frequently in forum thread, such as Sundul Gan (which is literally means Heading up Guys) and specific utterance for Kaskus’s users such as Agan for male user and Aganwati for female user.

As the platform continued developing, Kaskus also has Forum Jual Beli (FJB), a community marketplace for trading goods and services. In this platform, users can posting goods and services which are meant to be traded. The catagories of goods and services are vary, ranging from beauty products to household utensils. To secure the trading process, Kaskus provides Saldo BranKas, a platform to accommodate safety of money from buyer and seller. The collected money will digitized and will be disbursed if there is a request for disbursement of funds from the Seller and Buyer.

Besides, Kaskus also has some additional feautres as follow :

KasPayKasPay is online payment system of Kaskus which was launched in November 2009. Users who wish to pay cashless can utilize this electronic wallet. First of all, users are required to top up the KasPay by doing transfer from their bank account. Then, KasPay can be used to do transaction in Kaskus’s website also some merchants which have been affiliated with the company.

E-Pulsae-Pulsa is 24-hours online service to top up phone credit by using KasPay as payment of method.

Kaskus AdKaskus Ad is advertising platform in Kaskus’s website. It offers ease and flexibility to determine the budget according to the targeted audiences. Users also may to choose desired forum page in Kaskus’s website, both in form of written texts and images. This service is available for Kaskus members and those who are registered in KasPay.

Kaskus Radio: Kaskus Radio is an Internet Radio IN Indonesia under the auspices Kaskus community. Kaskus radio is commonly abbreviated as KR and has over twenty broadcasters. The radio plays the songs for 24 hours from a variety of languages, including English, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and many more.

The Competitor

As online community platform, Kaskus lead the market. However, for the marketplace, Kaskus has significant competitor such as www.olx.co.id, an online marketplace for new and second hand goods also services, which acquired Tokobagus.com and berniaga.com. Compare to Alexa ranking, Kaskus is leading ahead compare to olx.co.id which stand in 13th rank.

Controversy

Before the Information and Techonlogy Law was enacted, Kaskus had two controversial forum, BB17 and Fight Club. BB17 is an adult forum where users can share, whether image or adult stories which mostly have pornography content. Meanwhile, Fight Club is a forum dedicated as a place to argue a truly free without being controlled regarding controversial issues such as sex, races and religion. At that time, Kaskus was well known as underground website to obtain pornography content.

After ITE Law has been enacted, Kaskus shut down the forum to comply with the prohibition of pornography content. Then in August 2008, Kaskus rebranded its company image to be more positive by providing Trading forum for its members. At the very beginning, it was meant to be platform to sell goods and services with Cash on Delivery system. But later on, Kaskus developed to be more trustful by introducing Kaspay and having engagement with Bank Central Asia as supporting bank for payment. Nowadays, Kaskus is considered a prominent platform for trading goods and services, face to face with olx.co.id which also providing similar concept of online trading.

Office

Kaskus is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital and has a very Silicon Valley feel. They offer free lunch to employees, the lobby has a putting range, and they even have a toilet on the wall that guests can sign. (Kaskus is similar to the word in Indonesian for toilet.)

 

Kaskus toilet

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