Hello – it’s James from mjelly.com touching down here at Mobile Industry Review. Trutap is a mobile startup that’s been in the headlines quite a bit lately and it’s this week’s “Mobile 2.0 Service of the Week”.
What is it
Trutap is a mobile application that does four main things. Firstly, it aggregates all the major IM networks, similar to other services like Nimbuzz, ebuddy, heysan, mig33 and so on. However, that’s only 25% of what Trutap does. Trutap also provides a mobile gateway into all the major social networking, blogging and photo services, a community platform with profiles and other social features as well as a content platform which pushes out news and links on a daily basis.
Overall Trutap currently supports at least 8 IM networks, 10 blogging and photo sites, 8 social and digital lifestyle services and 8+ content channels which means it provides a gateway to well over 30 different digital communications, social and content platforms.
So – Trutap is a lot more than the simple IM aggregator that some people think it is.
Trutap have also shared a few facts about the service so far:
– 250K users with a good industry activity rate
– 80% of users are in Indian, Asian and African continents
– 70% of new users have updated their status, location and even home town within Trutap
– Facebook messenger is growing at a huge rate, now bigger than Google Talk on their network
Why is it interesting?
Trutap has been in the news recently because all staff have been put on notice. They were unfortunate that their current investor got hit hard in the Credit Crunch and is no longer investing anywhere… so the company has been effectively orphaned. Not a good time as we all know, and therefore raising more cash at short notice has been a difficult task with VCs focusing on trying to support their existing portfolio.
Trutap has taken a fair bit of stick from some quarters, but it’s got to be said that the new version of the service, which they built with the mobile development agency Future Platforms is really rather good. There are some fantastic user interface elements such as the scrolling navigation bar at the bottom of the screen which allows you to easily cycle through the different functions. A lot of people have critised Trutap for not going for a mobile web model from the start but if you look at the software they’ve built it really would be very difficult to deliver the same features and user experience over that platform.
Trutap spent the last year rolling out the first version of the product (aggregator of IM and Blogs) and building the second version (social network) which launched a few weeks ago. The first version launched in November 2007 so they’ve actually built a fair bit in a short space of time and comparing their take-up to competitors like ebuddy (10m downloads) is a bit unfair as Trutap have been going a much shorter time. The app has also been ported for a massive amount of handsets to provide a really wide potential user-base. Basically Trutap are positioned really well to begin really ramping up users and usage with the v2 app – its just unfortunate that the cut-off in funding has happened at this point.
Trutap has also begun to develop a couple of very interesting new ideas – the community system is planned to evolve into a virtual gifting and currency system, similar to the very successful model developed by the Japanese site Mobile Game Town. Secondly, Trutap has begun to create a platform for content brands with a number of partnerships underway including with a large mobile media business. These sorts of developments could seriously boost Trutap’s revenues and user-base if they get the chance to fully develop them!
Trutap is also one of the most popular apps in the mjelly directory so it seems there are quite a few fans of the service out there. Let’s hope Trutap manage to keep going and finish the job – all the best of luck to them.