Here’s a concept that’s a bit odd. Take Twitter, a service that allows you to post a 140 character message that the people who follow you can read. No matter how many people follow you, you only see the tweets of the people who you want to pay attention to.
Now do the same thing, but for voice. That’s Bubbly. You dial a number, leave a message, the people following you are then notified via SMS, and they can call in and listen to whatever nonsense you had to say about the new Hannah Montana album.
The service is made for operators to purchase and deploy on their networks, meaning you can’t sign up for Bubbly on your own as an end user, but it’s an interesting concept none the less. While I’m not sure I’d find much use for this, since I’d rather just send out a mass text message, I can see how something like this would actually get me to start using my phone as a phone again, albeit asynchronously. That’s the problem with phone calls after all, they require your immediate attention.
The service has seen over 150,000 users sign up over the course of a week in India.
Full press release after the break.
Update: Headline updated after being contacted by the folks behind Bubbly. There is a recording limit: 60 seconds. That makes the service even more interesting in my opinion. One can say a lot in 60 seconds, but not enough to blather on and on.
Already Live in Asia, Bubbly is Growing at a Rapid Pace with Over 150,000 People ‘Bubbling’ in Just the First Week of Service [ collapse ]
Bubble Motion, a leader in mobile messaging and social communication applications, today announced the launch of ‘Bubbly’– the first voice-blogging service built specifically for mobile phones.
With Bubbly, it’s easy to record and broadcast messages from a phone, delivering instant access to friends, family, and fans to hear. When bubblers record audio messages and updates, followers can listen in whenever they want. It’s like a voice-based Twitter – with the added emotion, feeling, and authenticity of the spoken word.
“Social networking on the Web is, in a word, huge. Meanwhile, the population of mobile phone users worldwide literally dwarfs the number of users on the Web,” explained Tom Clayton President & CEO of Bubble Motion. “The launch of Bubbly delivers a new, exciting way for people to connect socially on mobile phones with the power of voice.”
Bubbly is currently rolling out with the largest mobile operators in India and several other major operators worldwide. The service has launched with dozens of top national and regional Indian celebrities already voice-blogging using Bubbly. Through the first week of service, over 150,000 bubblers have already recorded and posted audio messages.
How Bubbly Works
It is simple, easy and fun to participate in voice-blogging – with no additional subscription or set-up required to post messages, or to follow other bubblers. To start voice-blogging, it’s as easy as entering a short code onto your phone, and start recording your messages. To follow another voice-blogger, users simply dial *phone number* for whomever they want to follow. Whenever there’s a new audio update, followers are notified via SMS with instructions on how to listen. Bubblers can even control who is able to listen to their messages, and have the option of masking their actual phone number to prevent followers from calling them directly.
Bubbly is designed for fans to stay close to their favorite celebrities, or to simply stay in touch with friends and family. Businesses are using Bubbly to announce promotions to customers, and spiritual and religious leaders are broadcasting inspirational messages to their followers. Bubbly is literally giving social networking a voice.
Bubbly is deployed through partnerships with mobile operators to ensure easy recording, storage and retrieval of voice messages, instant distribution of SMS notifications, and hassle-free billing. Bubbly is an extension of Bubble Motion’s BubbleTalk™ service, which has already delivered over one billion voice-based bubble messages worldwide.
“Already we are seeing people adopt Bubbly as a simple and innovative way to communicate.” said Clayton. “Bubbly stands to dramatically change how people interact with their friends and family, while staying current with what’s happening in their local community and around the world.”