Enricko Lukman
Enricko Lukman
9:00 am on Aug 6, 2013

mig33 new

It’s been a while since we last heard about Mig33, a social network for feature phones based in Singapore. The company is revealing today that it’s heading towards a different direction by becoming a social “miniblogging platform” – to use Mig33’s phrase – and making it available on more platforms like smartphones and in any browser.

We spoke with co-founder and CEO Steven Goh about why he believes Mig33 can disrupt the market owned by social networking giants like Facebook and Twitter.

Steven clarifies that previously Mig33 was seen more as an instant messaging product and social gaming for feature phones, and now it changed to become a micro blog product on all platforms, similar to Sina Weibo or Twitter. Steven says that he understands quite well that messaging apps like WeChat, Line, and KakaoTalk are very present in the messaging app market, and he’s not looking to compete with the likes of them.

Instead he is eyeing competition with the likes of Facebook and Twitter in the region. When determining what direction the team should pursue, the idea is to build a platform that can cater to large audiences – and to do what Facebook and Twitter aren’t doing. This is where the microblogging platform comes in.

Playful social platform

mig33 cover

Steven believes that social media platforms are changing quite a bit, and so are instant messaging products. Facebook’s growth is getting disrupted with the rise of new engaging players like Path and Instagram, and he believes that there is room for disruption among microblogging platforms like Twitter in Asia as well.

There are two main things that Mig33 looks to offer compared to Twitter. First is a higher character limit per post; Mig33 lets you type 300 characters, whereas Twitter caps tweets at 140. Second – and this applies to Mig33’s differentiator to Facebook too – is that Mig33 is fundamentally more playful. On Mig33, users can chat with other users, use emoticons, gain levels, and unlock badges.

Mig33 has a feature whereby users can change the site look and feel from a Twitter-like RSS feed to a grid layout. And of course, Mig33 can also serve as a gaming platform too. Steven says:

What’s also exciting for us is that we’ll be applying our games and monetisation platforms to our broader service. Whilst we’ve been able to drive traffic to games, engagement and monetisation has proven illusive. Miniblog is a great format for solving that problem.

Money talks

Mig33 will earn its revenue in a similar fashion to its previous business model, which is by selling virtual items like emoticons and gifts. While doing research, the team found that a few celebrity accounts on Mig33 are getting more engagement from its users than similar accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

One example is the Indonesian singer Shae G. She has more followers on Mig33 than on Facebook and Twitter. Shae also gets more user engagement on Mig33 than on Twitter using the same exact post, as pictured below. There are other accounts that are getting better engagement on Mig33, like Prambors Radio and dangdut singer Lina Lady Geboy. One of Mig33 plans is to earn money with an audience building tool.

With a large feature phone user-base – who are the majority of Indonesia’s phone users – the team says that Mig33 is a place for celebrities and brands to connect with Indonesia’s masses.

mig33 twitter compare 2

New look, new feel

The revamped Mig33 platform also comes with a new logo that shows young people having fun, rather than the previous cartoony robot. There’s also a new tagline. CMO Chris Reed explains that they “want to refresh the message that it’s all about fun” with this makeover. Furthermore this new look “communicates a fresh, vibrant, passionate and fun look and feel,” adds Chris.

At the moment there are over 70 million registered users on Mig33. The startup has accrued more than five million chatrooms and 400,000 groups. In the near future the team will be partnering with more content providers, media, celebrities, and brands to keep its new platform going.

In its new form as a microblogging platform, do you think Mig33 will be able to grow strongly in the region?

(Editing by Steven Millward)

  • Roy

    how many active users per month? that’s the question…

  • Sam

    Awesome ! waiting for android client :)

  • ikainhere

    Mig33 is awesome, its have so big offline communities also, timely gathering, friendly customer service, staffs, and coaches. It’s all about fun!

  • doldare

    mig33 is awesome for IM s..but recent android mig version is not support my mob…remodulate the this version for andriod

  • jamat shibir rajakar

    This is a fake report by Enricko Lukman. I am a active user of mig33. Once upon a time mig was a great chatting site but now its a history to us. Mig lost its real user because of poor design, poor programmers. poor updates. poor themes. poor features. Now in mig there are only 5 to 7% Active user exist and others all users are MULTI ID & BOT ID. Hey MR.Enricko Lukman go mi33.com use mig you will see full of bugs everywhere and its a kids design web.

    If you use facebook twitter you could catch mig all error. Mig owner a greedy man. His target to make teen user pocket empty with his plan. He is going forward with his greedy target. We active real user shouted lakh times, given our feedback but they didn’t listen user demand,choice.

    Now in mig every verified user post comment re-share all are done by bot . You would find the proof if you read the comments under post. People are using bot because they don’t like this web blog post. Although they don’t like but why are they using bot ? Yeah good question. They are doing that to increase their mig level. Mig said if you comment,share,post, your level will increase fast. So people are doing these to increase level. They are not doing that all from their heart as like Facebook comment share or Twitter.

    Please its request without proper research don’t make a report about anything. As a reporter you should find out the proper actual news. Hope you have understood.

    Jamat Shibir Rajakar
    mig33 user

  • Enricko Lukman

    Hi Jamat, interesting information you have there.
    A further inspection on Mig33’s bot activities and results through brand cooperations sounds interesting.

    Let us know if you have more information to share about it.

  • http://insider.mig33.com insider

    They losing talent and users like a popped fire hydrant. Insider information is they’re down to 40K DAU and that’s really bad. I hope Steve and his team can pull this nose drive around.

  • Abandon Ship

    They had the best talent selected from the region, but slowly due to poor management, they’re abandoning ship.

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