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Voice Blogging Service by Airtel – 2 million users in 3 months [Voice is a Commodity]

Bharti Airtel has officially unveiled its voice-blogging service now enabling Airtel subscribers to share recorded voice updates with their friends and family members.

This service (powered by Bubblemotion) has been there for few months now; the company claims to have roped in two million users in the first three months of its soft launch and is currently the world’s fastest growing voice-oriented social networking service. (via). Airtel has also roped in some celebrities to promote its voice blogging by setting up their blogs on this platform.

How Airtel Voice Blogging Works

  • To subscribe to a voice-blogger and follow their updates, simply dial *short-code* (for example *5000* for Amitabh Bachchan, or *91xxxxxxxx* for a friend.)
  • To launch a voice-blog (free), just dial *7* and follow the prompts.
  • When status updates are recorded, followers will receive free SMS notifications, and will be prompted to dial *2* to listen to the updates in their Airtel Blog inbox.
  • Standard airtime charges apply.
  • To follow celebrities on Airtel Blog, customers simply dial the *short-code* of the voice-blogger they want to hear on their Airtel mobile. As of now, following celebrities have their voice blog set up on Airtel:
    • Amitabh Bachchan: *5000*
    • Arshad Warsi: *5201*
    • Lara Dutta: *5148*
    • Neetu Chandra *5147*
    • VJ Ranvijay – Ranvijay: *5021*
    • Sonu Nigam: *5030*

Out of curiosity dialed the number of Amitabh Bachchan 🙂 and got to listen to his “jeevan ki kahani”, the numbers and the service worked fine during my trial with the process. Through this offering, Airtel aims to take micro-blogging to a new level all together.

Voice is a Commodity?

Though the concept is innovative, but am wondering on the feasibility of this overall service.

Somehow listening to celebs updates in their own voice might seem interesting but for a normal user recording your updates by dialing some number and then sending updates via SMS notification does not seem to be quick and simple process. Few months back, Airtel had launched an offering in micro-blogging area by integrating its sms through Twitter. In fact I was one of those users who had opted for SMS-Twitter service (paid SMS route) but the interest faded away in texting my tweet within few days of usage only. As of now, not sure of the scalability of this new offering from Airtel but would not like to pass on a clear judgment on this, as you never know what can click in the world of social networking and micro-blogging in India.

The attempt is obviously to maximize air waves (voice is a commodity these days) and monetize via premium service.

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