UK-based mobile startup Trutap launches its content platform ‘Hornet’ today with its first publishing partner, Goal.com. Hornet lets partners plug in text, images and advertising into their content for free and off-deck, as in off the decks of the mobile portals. Goal.com will deliver breaking English Premiership League stories Trutap around three times a day. By subscribing to content through Hornet, Trutap users can share the content virally from their mobiles.
Trutap is a Java app for mobile IM, texting and social networking aggregator aimed primarily at youth and emerging markets and operates in over 200 countries.
And I think that while the world seems in love with the iPhone, the reality is that the biggest mobile applications market remains Java, so any application that can run across hundreds of handsets and is lightweight in download size has legs. The harsh reality is that most handsets, including most in the US, are terrible, so any app which makes the business of accessing social networks and IM over data easier is on to something. The very lightweight Trutap mobile protocol means is uses very low amounts of data so low bills are low as well. They have also been smart to stay away from VOIP, which means they can deal with operators. And the Trutap application really is great to look at.
At the same time, there is a big hole in the strategy of the existing social networks. I gather that MySpace has just two people internationally on mobile. Facebook’s iPhone app is nice but does little beyond the Web app, and doesn’t leverage GPS, something I think Trutap will soon. Google is concentrating on Google Gears for mobile, Android and the iPhone, but seems to have forgotten it’s Symbian application Jaiku, now fighting for resources internally. Trutap is probably going to be an acquisition target at some point because it’s not been lured by the iPhone yet and stayed concentrated on the vast existing Java market, just as handsets like the BlackBerry get their act together and start copying the App Store model from the iPhone.