Locanto.ph: A Strong But Silent Classified Ads Contender

Locanto.ph is one of the localized free classified ads site of the German startup Yalwa for the Philippines. It boasts “user-to-user” classified ads in all major cities in the Philippines. The categories of the Locanto.ph include real estate, products, services, personals and among others.

Locanto is one low-key player in the online classified ads race in the Philippines. Credit: Adam Bouse

Posting A Free Ad At Locanto.ph

To post a free ad, one just needs to click the “Post Free Ad” button at the top of the homepage, and the user will be prompted for details such as product title and category. If one is not logged in, the website will ask the user to login or register for a new account.

There are two types of accounts when one is registered: Basic and Premium. With a basic account the user can post ads, contact advertisers and save favorites. With a premium account, the user enjoys the features of a basic account plus several features such as ad-free surfing, unlimited chat storage, account verification, responding to reviews and displaying an online status. Basic accounts are free while premium accounts are charged PHP 30 per month.    

Website Ranking

December 2020 statistics from Similarweb.com places Locanto.ph as number 2 in the classified ads category in terms of traffic. In the Philippines it is ranked 976th out of all websites also in terms of traffic. From June 2020 to October 2020, traffic to Locanto.ph has declined from 400,000 visits to 240,000 visits. November 2020 saw traffic bouncing back around the 300,000 level. The website has most of its visits from the Philippines, 65% of total traffic. United States contributes 7% of total traffic, owing to the large number of Filipinos there.

The Founder

Klaus Gapp heads Locanto.ph, being a local arm of the German startup Yalwa. He previously founded OpusForum.org, a local classified ads site for German-speaking users, which was acquired by eBay in 2005 and merged in Kijiji after a year.

Klaus Gap – Head of Yalwa and Locanto.ph

How It Started

Locanto.ph went live in  September 2008, just as the online classified ads market was heating up in the Philippines. During this time, Sulit.com.ph was leading the pack.

Site Features

Locanto.ph’s homepage features a search bar above the fold, and the main categories below it. The page also features links to the biggest cities in the Philippines, and subsequently the regions.

To register, one has to provide their email address, or just login with Google. Currently, registering through Facebook is not an option.

The main categories of Locanto.ph are classes, community, events, for sale, jobs, personals, real estate, services and vehicles. The website has no blog, but it features links to its social network profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. 

Locanto features a mobile site accessible through the url https://m.locanto.ph , which is a lighter version of the website specifically made for smaller screens.

The website is also open to partnerships, wherein other classified ads sites can submit ads by bulk through xml feed through this link https://www.locanto.ph/info/partner/.

Locanto is also seen promoting its dating app, Dating by Locanto for iOS and Android phones.

Design and Technology

Locanto uses a flat logotype as its logo and is updated during special holidays and occasions, very much similar to the Google logo. The main colors of the logo are navy blue, yellow and red orange.

Locanto.ph is hosted on a dedicated server and is protected by Cloudflare.

For Android users, Locanto is available as an app for download on the Google Play Store. The android app has a 4-star rating and has over 100,000 installs. There is no iOS counterpart of the app at least for the Philippines.

Overall Locanto.ph has a solid technology behind its operations, although its marketing is not as visible as Carousell.ph, it is a strong contender in the classified ads scene in the Philippines.

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