Singapore-headquartered Bubbly, commonly known as the “Twitter for voice,” has hit 30 million users. In addition to the 30 million users milestone, the company has rebranded itself as Bubbly (it was formerly called Bubble Motion) to give a more unified branding, look, and feel. Aptly, the latest version of Bubbly (v3.0) also launched today with a new design.
The highlight of the refreshed Bubbly app is perhaps its additional background filters which allow users to add an atmospheric soundtrack to their recorded voice. Some of the new background filters include ‘Coffee Shop,’ ‘Clubbing,’ and ‘Bombay,’ on top of the 12 it had in version 2.0. They’re just like Instagram’s picture filters but for voice.
Bubbly is used by celebrities including footballer Rio Ferdinand, cute Japanese girl band AKB48, and Bollywood star Salman Kahn, which is one of the reasons why many folks are attracted to the service. Bubbly is available not only on iOS and Android but also on feature phones, where I believe it gets most of its users. We have reached out to Bubbly to confirm this and will update if we hear back.
Bubbly CEO Thomas Clayton said in a statement that Bubbly is bridging global gaps “by allowing users from both smartphones and feature phones to post voice messages, like, and comment on each other’s posts.” So much so that it even helped an unknown 20-year old student in the Philippines who is only armed with a Nokia C3000+ and a regular headset to become a surprise viral hit, racking up over 200,000 followers on Bubbly.
“There are a lot of exciting changes going on for Bubbly right now as we continue to expand into new markets,” said Thomas. And that seems to suggest that things might just get busier for Bubbly, which recently added David Sloan as head of app products, former Rocket Internet Asia CTO Matteo Pelati as head of platform engineering, and former Fusion Garage CTO Andrew Alcock as head of apps engineering.
(Update: The following two paragraphs include extra details provided by Thomas). Bubbly monetizes through in-app purchases of premium services to connect with top celebrities – that’s on smartphones; on feature phones, the company has “partnerships with telcos as a value added service.” In terms of Bubbly’s reach, we’re told:
Top five countries are India, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, and Japan. In terms of the feature phone vs smartphone split, it is fairly aligned with the markets we’re in – i.e., about 85 percent feature phones with a slightly higher Android to iOS mix on the smartphone side. Countries like Japan obviously having a higher mix of smartphone users.
If you’re interested, you can download Bubbly here.