Beetalk! Just another App or the next big thing?
Welcome to 2014 and with the New Year, comes the newest social media channels for everyone to get stuck into. Beetalk, whilst originating in Thailand, is set to become one of the stand out channels of the year, and we are only 3 weeks in. The obvious question of course is Why?
Well, as the internet and access to it through mobile devices becomes easier and easier, there is just no getting away from the fact that the digital environment is one where all of us, even those that are ‘a different generation’ or ‘just not into it’ are going to spend more and more of our time. As a global trend, every developer and programmer is hoping they come up with the next social media channel, or Application of choice. And with the ‘different generation’ shying away from technology in many cases, they are deliberately targeting the next generation. They are targeting those of us, that have no qualms about wandering the streets, firmly glued to our screens. Those of us, that think it’s quite absurd that we might go to a library, those of us, that can’t go a paltry 3 minutes without looking at our smartphones or tablets.
And that is why Beetalk is set to do big things. Most of us have heard of Whatsapp and Viber, a few of us will have heard of Snapchat and Beetalk is an amalgamation of all three of them with some pretty cool features thrown in on top. Here in the Middle East, we are not afraid to adopt new technology, that’s for sure. You only have to look at the mobile phone penetration of well over 200% to understand that we, as a geography, love new technology and are usually quite fast to adopt it. But whilst we are fast to adopt it, we are not necessarily equipped to use it properly! So the buzz surrounding this App will almost certainly mean that the 3000 miles between the UAE and Thailand and the rest of Asia, where it’s currently targeted, will mean nothing and we will all soon be ‘shaking’ to connect – read on to find out what on earth we are talking about!!
As aforementioned, Beetalk has some pretty cool features, one is the ‘look around’ feature which allows you to find out who else is on Beetalk in your area by shaking the phone. If you happen to be an Emirates NBD customer you may be familiar with this function but with the remit of deciding an amount to transfer from your current account to your savings account.
Within Beetalk, you can also send Doodles and Stickers, which bring functionality of Line and Doodle Buddy into the same App. The Group vote functionality is one that Whatsapp users will like, as you can create a group vote within a conversation, so organising dinner or a weekend trip can become extremely quick and easy as all participants see the options, see the time limit when they have to vote by and then just vote!
Beetalks’s secret weapon though is much along the lines of Snapchat, whereby you can set a time limit for messages, images, doodles, stickers and just about everything else you can send, to self destruct. It’s called ‘Whisper’ – within Whisper mode you can even send your location with a time limit on it!
So what?, you might think. Well within days of it’s launch last year in November it became the number one App in Apple’s Thailand store and a trending App in the Google play store. The company also claims that at least 50% of those that downloaded the App are now regular users. Surprise Surprise, the Whisper mode is very popular!
For parents, teachers and care givers, this is one to watch as you are going to hear more about this App. Whilst Asia is their current target market, it isn’t difficult to see how a teenager on holiday could easily bring this App back to Dubai, or wherever home is and the next thing you know, the entire school is using it. The App has purposely been designed and targeted at the teen market. They are after all the ones that fit the above demographic description of the ‘digital generation’ – the library is an outdated concept. Google is their library. So keep the name in mind, as with all social media channels and Apps, as well as the good they provide, in the wrong hands, they can be used for evil. So just add Beetalk to the list of channels to be aware of.