Sequoia-backed Bubble Motion, which offers a Twitter-like voice blogging service in India, is bringing its service to Japan today via a deal with Japanese mobile communications company KDDI. The service, which has seen considerable traction in India, will be dubbed “Koe-Now.”
Bubble Motion’s BubbleBlog platform delivers a voice-blogging phone service so that people can share status updates in their own voice with fans and followers. It essentially takes Twitter’s model and applies this to voice blogging and mobile phones. These ‘bubblers’ record their voice update into their phone, and their followers everywhere are notified by SMS and prompted to click and listen. BubbleBlog has more than 2 million users in India.
The Japanese service is catered towards allowing Japanese stars such as actors, musicians, comedians and other celebrities to record updates for fans and followers. KDDI’s 32 million subscribers can dial short-codes to subscribe to and follow celebrity voice- bloggers, while non-KDDI subscribers can also follow along by dialing in from any phone (mobile or landline) to hear voice updates from Japanese stars.
It should be interesting to see if BubbleBlog will be able to take off in Japan. The service has been popular in India, thanks in part to the fact that mobile phone usage exceeds internet usage in the country. However, in Japan, web-based Twitter is growing at a rapid rate.
Bubble Motion, which is based in Mountain View, Calif., has raised a total of $35 million in funding since the company’s launch in 2003. The company also plans to extend its services to Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.