One of the world’s largest social microblogging site Twitter, will be working with Singapore based startup to make its 140-character messaging service available to users in emerging markets who have entry-level mobile phones which cannot access the Internet.
Which is the startup? U2opia Mobile.
U2opia Mobile is a global provider of mobile applications that enable ubiquitous and customised access to the social internet.
How does it work? Essentially, customers of the U2opia’s Fonetwish service just dial a special code, and a feed of trending tweets and topics is sent to their handset. This code is provided by U2opia. No display of images or video is available on these feature phones.
What are feature phones you ask? Maybe Nokia 3310 will ring a bell. U2opia will make Twitter available to users who are still using these models.
Do people still use these models? Well apparently so: Eight out of ten people in emerging markets are still not accessing data on their phone. More than 11 million people already use U2opia’s Fonetwish service, which helps mobile phones access Facebook and Google Talk without a data connection. The Singapore company also said that over half a million users without Internet Access from around the world now access Facebook every month.
U2opia’s project will help Twitter in overcoming such impediment as it will tender the utility to users who may have never used it before.
U2opia Mobile, which has a similar tie-up with Facebook Inc, will launch its Twitter service in the first quarter of next year, Chief Executive and Co-founder Sumesh Menon told Reuters. U2opia, which is present in 30 countries in seven international languages, will localize the Twitter feed according to the location of the user.
“So somebody in Paraguay would definitely get content that would be very very localized to that market vis a vis somebody sitting in Mumbai or Bangalore. For a lot of end users in the emerging markets, it’s going to be their first Twitter experience,” Menon said.
We are definitely fans of companies like U2opia which brings real value to huge untapped market.
Perhaps this gives you another reason to purchase that Nokia 3310 again.