AdAge.com goes international reporting on the latest phenomenon to take in India. The service is called Bubbly – a 30 second or so long voice recording service. Bubbly works a lot like Twitter. People sign up to follow a friend, family member or celebrity, brand or company. It’s free to post messages and follow people. After a new message is sent out, users get alerts and pay for airtime if they choose to listen.
Similar to recording a voicemail with the ability to mass-share it, the service works on any handheld device. While Bubbly’s official launch date is still uncertain, major Bollywood stars have started using the service to promote the premiere of their latest films. In India, 500,000 users have already signed on.
When trying to reach an international audience, cultural differences need to be considered. AdAge.com points out that many in India have access to cell phones, but far fewer have access to the web – with the fastest-growing mobile phone user population in the world, the country is slated to have as many as 650 million cell phone users in 2012.
Criticisms of the article and app in general include the inability to view replies and add to the conversation – one of the main advantages and appeals of web-based social media platforms such as Twitter. More opinionated is the comment that “Bubbly is not likely to take hold in the US because we are far more interested in texting than listening.”
Another reader remarks on the choice of markets directly relating to their literacy rates, again, an important fact to consider when reaching other countries. While Bubbly’s CEO Tom Clayton plans to bypass US and European markets, he does intend to focus on more mobile-savvy locations like India, Japan and Brazil. So watch out – it might just become an advantage to keep this service in mind when it comes to international consumers.