Trutap, the latest company wanting to give the world’s teenagers access to their lives on mobile phones, will launch Friday.
Its features may sound familiar: The London company has built a downloadable mobile application that works in more than 200 countries, on most of the world’s most popular phones. This application lets you send instant messages through any of the major messengers, engage in group chat, upload photos to your photo sharing site, and update your blog. It will also soon allow you to access many of the most popular social networks, and is in the process of building a mobile ad-serving technology.
They’re familiar because a handful of other companies are doing something very similar, or at least parts of it. They include Migg33 (our coverage), Nimbuzz and Crickee, which offer similar messaging and functions, but do not integrate with blogging platforms and social networks. There’s MocoSpace, designed for communicating with random people (our coverage). Trutap’s most direct competitor is Bluepulse, a service from Australia that launched last year to strong acclaim, and which told VentureBeat last week that it now has close to 100 million page views a month. Both want to become full-fledged social networks, like Facebook or Myspace — only for mobile phones.
Flirtomatic, another UK based mobile designed for “flirting,” said it too had more than 100 million WAP impressions for the month of August — or a 100-fold increase from November.
Trutap integrates messaging with a series of mobile widgets for Flickr, Blogger, and many more. Trutap says it will differentiate through partnerships with the major social networks and carriers, but this is yet to be seen.
Despite its debut at the Techcrunch40 event in San Francisco, Trutap is not really focusing on the U.S. market. It focuses instead on parts of the world where broadband penetration is relatively low, and where a mobile phone is a teenager’s most accessible means of connecting to the web. Its main targets are teenagers in Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Trutap has raised a total of $7.7 million, which includes $1.2 million from angels and founders and a $6.5 million first round from Boston’s Tudor Ventures last year.