Home Top Web Apps in Croatia

Top Web Apps in Croatia

Written by Berislav Lopac and edited by
Richard MacManus

is a small market for any industry – and especially when it comes to the Internet. It has
about 4.5 million citizens, but only 35% of them regularly used the Internet in 2005,
according to a recent study by IDC. However, the same
study tells us that as many as 54% use the Internet to read online publications – the
highest in Europe in that respect. And this accurately describes the most active part of
the Croatian Web scene.

Portals and News

The most popular sites in Croatia are traditional, all-encompassing news sites and
portals. Most of them belong to ISPs, such as T-Com’s T-Portal, VIPnet’s VIP
or the net.hr – which belongs to the second
largest ISP, Iskon (recently acquired by T-Com). Most media also operate their own online
counterparts, as is the case with Jutarnji list
(the most popular daily newspaper) and Dnevnik.hr
(operated by Nova TV). These sites are often used as alternatives to traditional media
and many users have started to use them as their main online source for news and
information. The primary competition consists of similar sites owned by independent
teams, not affiliated with any media company or an ISP – a prime example is Index, which specializes in cracking “scandal” stories –
like the notorious homemade video of the local pop idol Severina.

Recently, some projects aiming to make news more accessible entered the Croation
market. One is Naslovnica, which uses automated
techniques such as RSS and HTML-scraping to gather news. Another is Moje vijesti, which is pursuing a similar goal –
only it uses “human power” in a digg-like fashion. Another site that provides an
alternative way to finding current news is XPortal,
which turns every visitor into a potential journalist.


The most distinguishing feature of the Croatian Web is the surprising popularity of
blogging. The first real blogging service, called simply Blog.hr, was established in 2004 and soon attracted a lot
of users looking for a public outlet for their thoughts. Currently blog.hr boasts over
200,000 blogs. Although many of them are not active, there are approximately 1,750,000
total posts.

Following their precursor’s success, other similar services soon appeared. Currently
there are MojBlog and Bloger. Most of the bloggers on these services are
teenagers and young people expressing their everyday thoughts and experiences, but some
bloggers have almost become celebrities – to the extent of being quoted in mainstream

Other, more specialized and focused blog communities have also appeared recently, like
Bestseler and pollitika.com – the later mainly catering to
politically minded authors. Also, many of the most popular authors – who invariably
started on one of the services mentioned above – have recently moved to their own

A recently started blog network, Blogariat
inspired by 9rules – strives to be the
channel for reaching the best Croatian blogs.

Social Networking and Dating

It could be said that in Croatia blogs fulfill the same purpose as MySpace and other
social networking sites do in most of the world. A lot of discussions take place in blog
comments; and as many commenters are also bloggers, a number of “communities” have
naturally evolved. This may also explain the lack of social networking sites in Croatia –
the existing contenders are relatively small and underutilized.

Povez has been touted by media as the first real
Croatian SNS, while ekipa.hr is trying to emulate the
success of their Hungarian partners iWiW.
There are also some more specialized networks, such as Stari prijatelji (which serves to connect old
friends that have lost touch) and Tulumarka (which
connects parties and their attendees throughout Croatia).

However, arguably the oldest social network – very popular outside the country’s
borders – is Iskrica. Started about five
years ago as a simple dating site, it now offers services like blogs and forums – and
many of its users have since created virtual communities.


A relatively active area on the Croatian Web has been sites offering classified ads
for all kind of services. Oglasnik is the oldest
such service, started as the Web presence of the largest local free classifieds paper. It
has recently been acquired by Trader Media East.
Their Web application shares all of the ads that are available in the print edition; and
all the ads submitted online also appear in print.

KupiProdaj is a main competitor in this
market. But most of the classifieds sites focus on a certain area. A very active field is
that of job ads, where currently MojPosao
dominates – a job board which has recently become almost an exclusive source of
applicants in some industries, such as IT. Their main competitor, Posao.hr, was recently acquired by Oglasnik.hr. It is important to note that on all of the
job boards, it is free of charge to publish an ad because the sites have other ways to
create revenue.

Another very active classifieds market is real estate. Among the most popular are Crozilla, Deltanet, Centar nekretnina.

Other Croatian Web Applications

Apart from blogging services, there are very few widely used Web applications –
especially those following the modern “Web 2.0” approach. One of the most prominent
examples is Dvanula (conceived and run by Boris Ličina Borja, a journalist and editor who is
also one of the most influential bloggers himself, as well as the author of a book about
the Croatian blogging scene). The name Dvanula means “two-zero” and the site consists of
a number of features that are usually associated with “Web 2.0”: an RSS aggregator, a
Digg clone, a “photodigg”, a social bookmarks feature, a social network and numerous
other features.

One of the most popular Web applications in Croatia is Coolinarika, a food and cooking-related site
sponsored by the food-industry giant Podravka.
Besides regularly updated content written by professional authors, it contains numerous
features where visitors may participate – such as recipe-sharing.

Ptičica is a Flickr-like photo-sharing
, with a clean modern design and no superfluous features.

Aukcije.hr tries to create an eBay-like online

One site which has the potential to be a prototypical Web 2.0 application in Croatia,
is Gorivo.com – a virtual marketplace for
looking for people traveling to the same direction as them, with whom they
could share fuel costs. Unfortunately, the site has stuck to an old-fashioned design and
unintuitive application UI. 

Another useful service is TV Phazer, which lists
up-to-date schedules of TV stations viewable from Croatia.

Dužnici.net gives a place for entrepreneurs
to list companies who refuse to pay their bills.

Magister is a visitor-driven site where you may ask
questions to be answered by your peers, while Hoću
is a clone of I Want One of Those.
Klopa gives you a central place for ordering food in
Zagreb (the capital), while Eudict offers a simple
translation between Croatian and a number of foreign languages. GElin by Mireo
is an original application, in the vein of Google Maps, which provides easy location of
places and addresses in Croatia (other similar applications are Karte gradova and VIP Navigator, the latter being an “Ajax” application
originally written some five years ago).

During the last quarter of 2006 a number of other new projects have been announced.
Plus it is expected that some of the local Web applications will break the national
boundaries and expand to regional – and perhaps even worldwide – markets.

This post is part of Read/WriteWeb’s continuing coverage of international Web markets.
Other countries profiled so far have been Germany, Holland, Poland, Korea, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, China, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, France, Japan, India, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Hungary and Serbia.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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