Archives for posts with tag: communications

In the U.S., we are still exploring the possibilities of Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, but in Asia and South America, everyone is Bubbly.

Bubbly is a five-year-old mobile and social app developed by firm Bubble Motion, which is based in Silicon Valley and Singapore. Simply put, Bubbly is a voice-based Twitter. Its tagline is, “It’s like Twitter with a Voice.”

According to Bubble Motion’s CEO Tom Clayton, Bubble Motion explored a variety of mobile voice-messaging services when social media networks such as MySpace and Facebook launched. This led to the media of audio messages targeting a much larger audience of followers.

Launched in February 2010, with no marketing dollars used to push the service and early adoption by Bollywood stars to promote their careers and new projects, Bubbly currently has a total of two million users, 1.2 million of which are paid subscribers.

Anyone can sign up for Bubbly to follow a friend, family member or favorite celebrity or brand. Posting messages and following is free, and once a new message has been recorded and sent out, users get an alert. If they choose to listen, they pay for the airtime.

Most messages are less than 30 seconds long, and there is currently a cap of one minute.

To post on Bubbly, a user dials a short code, like *7, records a message and hangs up. To listen, tap in another code, like *2. It works on any handheld device, and messages can be posted to Bubbly while still withholding phone numbers for privacy.

Bubble Motion skipped launching Bubbly in North America and Europe to focus its efforts in Asia and South America, particularly India, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brazil. People in these countries typically have access to cell phones, but far fewer have access to the web, which makes this type of mobile blogging service an easy sell. India has the fastest-growing population of mobile phone users in the world, as cell phone operators add millions of new customers each month. By 2012, it’s estimated that India alone will have 650 million cell phone users.

No, it’s not coming here anytime soon, but I think it is important for communicators to keep up on what is going on in the industry no matter where in the world it is happening. These new innovative services and applications not only tell us where we are currently with social media and how we use it, but where we are going.

For more information on Bubbly, visit http://www.bubblemotion.com.

I would like this to be a two-parter, so stay turned, I will need your help with a little experiment!

Launched at SXSW 2009, Foursquare is a location service/review tool/social network/game all rolled into one.

How it works:

You check in from any restaurant, bar, club or event you happen to be gracing your presence with. You can include a message about your location and what you happen to be up to while there. Your Foursquare friends get this message from you and they can join, congratulate, envy or pity you, depending on the circumstances.

You can also use Foursquare to change your fate and save yourself from having a miserable time. You can use the tool to check and see where your friends are at and if they are faring any better, and move on to greener pastures.

Foursquare also allows you to create a list of places you want to go and add a Top 12 list of recommendations for others to review.

How to play the game:

You get one point for actually checking in; five points if you check in from a location you have never checked in from before; additional points for checking in from multiple locations in one evening and for checking in multiple nights in a row. You get five discovery points up front, but you can only amass points for checking in outside of work hours.

Earning points only pits you against other players and you don’t get anything as a result, but this is the game part. If you check in from the same location more times and more regularly than others, you can be crowned Mayor and other players can try to take that title from you. Badges can also be earned for the number of times you’ve checked into new businesses and you can earn other titles. 

How to sign up:

Click here. You will need to set up a profile, add a photo and your cell number. The service/game is completely free. From there you add friends and start to play.

Foursquare is city-specific, so there are different networks for a number of different locations: Amsterdam, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas / Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis / St. Paul, New York City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and London. There are Foursquare apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and the Palm Pre.

My take on this? I think Foursquare is going to be yet another important social media tool in the integrated communications arsenal for many businesses. The Foursquare owners have in their possession valuable consumer data for establishments in cities all over the world. Those launching new bars, restaurants, hotels and other hot spots will clamor to be on Foursquare and get that buzz. I think eventually it will be expected that any establishment opening up will need to be on Foursquare. 

So this is where I need some help…

I am a working professional/mother of two. My days of hitting the hotspots were soooo six years ago. I would love to use Foursquare myself and then provide my thoughts as a follow-up to this, but I just don’t make it to enough hip and happening places to give you a good idea of what I think. I would love for anyone reading this and using Foursquare to comment on what they think and their experience with it. And hopefully I will have enough feedback to write a follow up shortly.

Thanks so much!

FlackChick