Earlier this week we covered the interest in Keek, a relative newcomer (for the UK at least) to the social media landscape that allows you to record 36 second video clips.
Today, we're taking a look at a rival. It's a rival in that it is competing for your time and attention, but it has a slightly different approach. It isn't focused on video content.
Bubbly is a social media network that lets users record 30 second audio clips from mobile phones. In doing so, users post the clips to their profile channel and others can subscribe to and listen to your broadcasts.
The key to Bubbly is, ironically, what is making Keek so successful - it is simple to use.
Whilst Keek has seen an influx of UK users because of the Olympic diver Tom Daley being a fan of it, Bubbly is seeing a similar interest from a new user base - because it has been adopted by Manchester United and England defender, Rio Ferdinand.
With a Twitter following of almost 4 million users, the boost that his mentioning of Bubbly has given the platform is undoubted.
However, it deserves it. Bubbly is remarkably adept at doing what it does with speed, ease and incredible mobile practicality.
Think about it this way - whilst you could, theoretically, speak a Tweet for translation, check it and upload it, nothing is quite so easy as simply speaking as you walk, pressing a button, and up to the ether goes whatever message you wanted to communicate to the masses.
Plus, it's surprising what you can get into a 30 second audio clip. A lot.
Starting off with Bubbly couldn't be much easier. You download the App to your mobile phone and then login via a Facebook account, Twitter account or (and we like this option) simply register with an email address.
The reason we like the last option so much is that you don't always want to share all your activity across multiple platforms with a single login, and it also allows a degree of contingency.
On doing so, it takes a matter of a minute to configure your profile, add an image, give Bubbly links to your Facebook and Twitter accounts if you want to - and you're up and running.
Bubbly home screen and profile page
You can browse through other user channels and listen to their posts with supreme ease. It is incredibly easy to use in that respect. However, the way they've managed to implement engagement is also interesting.
You can reply as you would do on another other channel, with text. But, and yes you can see what's coming here, you can also record an audio clip to reply. Before you know it, you've got real world conversation again!
You can "Like" audio clips and share them with others too.
The real diamond in the mine of Bubbly though is how well they've integrated the function of posting your own audio clip. One button with a microphone on it takes you to the recording screen. From there, you hit the big red record button - and you're up and running.
Recording an audio clip on Bubbly
Not only can you review your audio post before you publish it, but you can apply filters (think Instagram, but with sound). So, it'll synthesise the sound you've produced, or give it an echo, or make you sound as if you've just spent 5 seconds inhaling Helium!
You can speed your voice up, slow it down and all manner of other transformations can be applied.
What's more, you have a selection of sound effects for use whilst recording - such as a round of applause, a thumbs up or thumbs down sound, and even a moo-ing cow (we've no idea why, but we're sure dairy farmers will find a use for it!).
Bubbly has a couple of benefits that will appeal to many social media addicts but also to those that want to spread their message across as many easily accessible platforms as possible.
It has a human touch to it. Letting someone hear your voice gives a form of personality it is impossible to convey with words.
It is super-simple to use. We've used Bubbly with a variety of accounts before registering our formal company account and our experience has been very positive. Like Keek, it has an intuitive design to it.
The nature of Bubbly means you're not having to look down at a tiny mobile phone screen and trying to type a message. It means that the likelihood of posting is possibly higher in our opinion.
The ability to convey emotion is only matched by Keek - because your voice adds a level of authority, humour or sentiment to your message that Twitter and Facebook simply can't.
We've yet to gather any demographic data on Bubbly but there is little doubt it is very similar to Keek in its largely youth-based dominance. But, as with all things good, we fully expect this to change and develop in time.
Bubbly is a platform anyone with an interest in social media should take a look at it. Roving reporters may find it particularly interesting and the power of audio micro-blogging could be something we'll see come much more apparent in 2013. Corporate use of Bubbly has very similar potential to that of Keek - it is an exciting medium on which to acheive a different message tone to that of 'traditional' channels.
Bubbly has made us feel all bubbly. It has a certain bounce about it. Take a look.