Internet trends come in leaps and bounds. Some fizzle out and some stay, at least for a time. What has been hotting up recently is microblogging, and specifically a product called twitter
. What's the premise here? You have 140 characters to update your status at any one time. You can do this online or by sending an sms to a specific phone number. It them can text those in your network or those who have chosen to watch your status or "thoughts". The applications could be huge if conceptually it can be converted from idea to monetisation. Anything from marketing to advertising to discount codes etc. It hasn't reached critical mass yet in the US, but is growing at a phenomenal rate, and soon it won't just be tech nerds who 'twitter'. Either that or it's all froth and another fad to pass through time.
But the question at this stage in the technology is whether it would work in Dubai or Abu Dhabi? An interesting thought. It is no secret that the concept of mobile is more status in the Gulf Arab states than in some places in the world. (Aside, on one occasion I was with someone who had 4 mobiles with him - Why he just didn't just divert the calls to one, I don't know) I wondered whether the concept of mobile is just to do with receiving calls and looking important or is it really about being in the know. I haven't quite come to a conclusion. Is being in the know what it is all about or does one need to know the gossip? These are two different ideas but depending on the use of this "service", could be covered by twitter.
There are all sorts of hurdles before twitter would be available as mass microblogging in the UAE. But the ability to inform people real time of your status or thoughts is probably something too scarey for the TRA to consider. That said, would it work anywhere where there is censorship? Twitter would become twatter, not in real time and the very essence of why it is so appealing to the technerd crowd at present would be lost in its formal application by the duopoly powers of etisalat and du. In any case, this is all some time off, as markets collide and twitter looks to devise a business model that can be applied to markets where you pay to receive and pay to send sms.
Labels: Dubai, mobile, twitter, uae