Fresh off a $12 million investment, SMS GupShup, a Twitter-like service in India that is primarily accessed via SMS, is launching an App Store. The store aims to expand SMS GupShup’s ecosystem by allowing developers to create SMS-based mobile applications based off of the microblogging service.
Launched in April 2007, SMS GupShup (spawned from Webaroo) serves 26 million users across India. The startup has seen rapid growth in users primarily due to the immense popularity of mobile devices in India. According to the startup, there are 550 million mobile phone users in the country and only 50 million web users. With a 10 to 1 mobile-to-PC ratio and SMS serving as the most popular communications platform, the market is ripe for SMS GupShup to take off. SMS GupShup currently processes over 480 million messages a month and accounts for 5 percent of all texts sent within India.
Called AppShup, the app store allows developers to use the platform’s API to create and connect their apps to the GupShup stream, allowing developers make small SMS applications and widgets. App Shup pre-enables carrier approval processes, hoping to make the process of submitting apps easier for developers. Currently, AppShup is integrated with the Indian carriers – allowing SMS services for Indian mobile subscribers. The startup says they are conducting discussions with carriers in other countries to expand the program. Close to 100 SMS apps are already available including Tic Tac Toe, Cricket Quiz, and Word Jumble. For now, most of the apps appear to be free.
Releasing an API and launching an App Store makes sense for SMS GupShup. The mobile social network has been growing fast and developing an ecosystem around its platform is the next step for development. The startup has even attracted the attention of leaders in the space, like Facebook. Last year, Facebook partnered with SMS GupShup to power and deliver its users’ status updates via text messages. Additionally, SMS GupShup has an advertising strategy. Over 100 advertisers currently run on the network including local insurance provider ICICI Lombard and international brands like Puma, Microsoft and Cadbury.
India is a huge market for social networks, with Facebook, Orkut and even Twitter vying for a share of the growing number of web users who are increasingly flocking to social networks in their day-to-day routines. But clearly, SMS GupShup has tapped into the mobile side of social networks and is seeing success from this in India. It should be interesting to see if the service can develop the vibrant ecosystem Twitter has produced with its third party apps and API.
This is not another Twitter tool. But compare to all the other tools this is very fast. Try use it.
A few days ago, I noted that Seesmic Web had perfected the management of Twitter contacts. I was wrong. A new service has been brought to my attention that is much, much better. Actually, it’s a must-use.
While Seesmic Web is great for a number of things (it’s arguably the best Twitter web client out there), ManageTwitter is great at one thing: managing your Twitter followers. To use it, you simply link up your Twitter account (via OAuth) and it lets you know which of the Twitter users you follow aren’t following you back, who is inactive, who is talkative, and who is quiet. Each of these are great gauges for whether you should still be following them or not.
Personally, I was able to eliminate over 200 people I was following that I determined I shouldn’t be. Most of these were users I followed a couple years ago that either were simply not using the service any more, or were no longer that interesting to me.
Unfollowing users is as simple as selecting their name and clicking the “unfollow” button. You can also do this in bulk. And hovering over any users gives you more information about them including their average tweets per day. You can also sort the various ManageTwitter fields by ‘date followed,’ ‘username,’ ‘followers,’ or ‘timezone.’
While there are no shortage of services that recommend people you should follow, I’ve long needed one to suggest who I maybe shouldn’t be following. Of those, ManageTwitter is easily the best.
Created by the Australian company Melon Media, the site notes that it has unfollowed 17092 people for 381 users in the past 3 days.
In March of 2008, Twitter was estimated to have one million active users, according to Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. But amazingly, over the course of the following year, Twitter was able to expand its user base by 32-37 times, according to which news source you trust for your data.
On July 30th 2009, the Philadelphia Enquirer reported that Twitter had “increased its user base by 37-fold to more than 32 million users worldwide, 18-20 million of whom reside in the United States“.
Now, the naysayers are fond of pointing out that Twitter’s attrition rate is quite large, with 60% of new users disappearing after signing up for the service. But if the Philadelphia Enquirer’s estimation is correct that “only 40 percent of first-timers become habitual visitors“, then the remaining 12.8 million users still make a viable and vibrant Twitter community.
Each individual user inside the Twitter community is capable of building his or her own community of Followers.
As Ashton Kutcher has taught us, building a Follower list is fairly straight forward – when people are interested in you and what you have to say, they will follow you on Twitter to see what you have to say.
To date, nearly 3 million Twitter users have decided that they care enough about Kutcher’s life to follow his personal tweets. Of course, I am sure it helps that he occasionally posts pictures of his wife, Demi Moore, in his tweets. Not only did Kutcher share a shot of his Demi’s derriere, he also proved that rich people have ugly furniture too.
Twitter is one of the fastest growing marketplaces on the Internet. The reason why so many people like Twitter is because it is actually the perfect communication tool for people who don’t understand and don’t want to learn about Internet technology and the technological geek-speak that goes along with it.
A few years back, I asked someone for his dad’s email address. The son replied telling me that you just email his name. The son was clueless that there was an actual email address behind the shortcut for his dad’s name. He did not understand email, and he did not care that he did not understand it. He was able to use it in a manner that was easy for him, and that is all that really mattered.
What makes Twitter so popular to the masses is that one does not have to be tech-savvy to use the service. The new user simply needs to locate the profile of the person he or she wants to follow, and then the user simply clicks “Follow”. From that day forward, anytime the person “Followed” posts (tweets) new information to his or her micro-blog, Followers will be notified about the message in the Twitter Timeline.
The only thing that is really difficult about Twitter is that new people seldom understand that they must “Follow” someone, before they start to receive messages from others. But once someone has chosen to follow a few people, they get the idea behind Twitter very quickly.
With its’ system of 140 character micro-posts (referred to as “tweets“), users are able to communicate information to other users. Sometimes the tweeted info is a random comment, but often the tweets mean something to somebody.
For the average consumer, they can log into Twitter to update grandma about the lives of the grandchildren and to provide links to family pictures.
Although the service has been available since 2006, the Internet marketing community was really slow to catch on to the value of the Twitter community. Most Internet marketers hadn’t heard of Twitter until 2008. Even then, online marketers were slow to see any real value in the platform. But in 2009, Twitter finally hit its stride in getting the word out about its service, in large part due to the Ashton Kutcher vs. CNN Twitter Follower Challenge.
Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) challenged CNN (@cnnbrk) to a race to one million Twitter Followers. On April 17th, 2009, Ashton became the first Twitter user to reach one million followers. CNN passed the mark a few hours later, but Ashton won the race fair and square.
Twitter Tools is a plugin that creates a complete integration between your WordPress blog and your Twitter account.
Who is allowed to post a Tweet from within WordPress?
Anyone who has a ‘publish_post’ permission. Basically, if you can post to the blog, you can also post to Twitter (using the account info in the Twitter Tools configuration).
What happens if I have both my tweets posting to my blog as posts and my posts sent to Twitter? Will it cause the world to end in a spinning fireball of death?
Actually, Twitter Tools has taken this into account and you can safely enable both creating posts from your tweets and tweets from your posts without duplicating them in either place.
Does Twitter Tools use a URL shortening service by default?
No, Twitter Tools sends your long URL to Twitter and Twitter chooses to shorten it or not.
Can Twitter Tools use a URL shortening service?
Yes, Twitter Tools includes a filter:
as of version 1.6. Plugins for this filter may already exist, or you can create your own. The plugin needs to attach to this filter using the standard WordPress
add_filter() function and return a URL that will then be passed with your blog post tweet.
Is there any way to change the ‘New Blog Post:’ prefix when my new posts get tweeted?
Yes there is, but you have to change the code in the plugin file.
The reason this is done this way, and not as an easily changeable option from the admin screen, is so that the plugin correctly identifies the tweets that originated from previous blog posts when creating the digest posts, displaying the latest tweet, displaying sidebar tweets, and creating blog posts from tweets (you don’t want tweets that are blog post notifications being treated like tweets that originated on Twitter).
To make the change, look for and modify the following line:
$this->tweet_prefix = 'New blog post';
Can I remove the ‘New Blog Post:’ prefix entirely?
No, this is not a good idea. Twitter Tools needs to be able to look at the beginning of the tweet and identify if it’s a notification from your blog or not. Otherwise, Twitter Tools and Twitter could keep passing the blog posts and resulting tweets back and forth resulting in the ‘spinning fireball of death’ mentioned above.