RockeTalk, a mobile social networking app, has now become the most widely used mobile app in India overtaking both Orkut (a giant in India) and Facebook, according to a report by mobile analytics firm Informate.
RockeTalk is a voice and video-based social networking application that allows users to connect with friends across all mobile networks. According to the company website:
Users can create any combination of text, voice, photo, and video messages, share with any contacts, join communities and chat with individuals and groups, and access a variety of entertainment and content. RockeTalk makes communication between individuals and groups easy and rich, and facilitates a new form of self-expression that informs, entertains and connects people through the media they create.
RockeTalk’s reach has surprised many, specially given the fact that Orkut and Facebook together command 90% of the social media space in India. Orkut came in at second place when it came to usage of the social network from mobile devices, trailed by Qeep and Facebook. The chart below provides a graphical representation of the reach of social media mobile apps in India.
India’s mobile social networking market is expected to reach 72 million users by 2014, according to another study released by Analysys Mason back in Oct, 2010.
RockeTalk is planning to raise around $10 million in Series B, to fuel its growth from 4 million users at present to around 20 million users in by 2014. However, not everyone is buying into the premise that a social network can survive only on top of mobile devices. According to Karthik Srinivasan – Head of Digital Strategy at Edelman India:
I haven’t used RockeTalk, so its unfair for me to comment on the social networking application. But I personally don’t think there’s any decent market for mobile social networking in India. It’s more of a function of social networking via mobiles, which doesn’t need dedicated platforms like RockeTalk when inbuilt Facebook & Twitter applications are more than adequate.
I don’t see the need to think of a new platform for the sake of mobiles alone; it has to go through the same growth pains of any social network – mobile or otherwise. Also, most mobile brands recognize Twitter and FB as default apps/widgets and install them as a pre-loaded piece. That helps their spread too.
We however, wont be surprised to see RockeTalk flourishing even in 2014 and beyond, after all FourSquare is also primarily a mobile social network.