Watwet, our homegrown mobile and web microblogging and social networking tool (do they still call this stuff “microblogging” or am I living in a cave?) has made some pretty profound changes to the service over the past few months. I’ve been meaning to write about them for a while, but this did not happen due to my forced blogging semi-hiatus in the past couple of months.
The most interesting thing for users was the introduction of what I call “Watwittering”.
Since the launch of Watwet, comparisons have been made of the two services. Watwet was launched in the pre-Twitter craze. Twitter was known to bloggers and geeks at the time, but in the past few months Twitter has just exploded.
Watwet’s uniqueness still lays in its well developed Arabic support (now even more improved with better rendering of Arabic text), MMS support and the fact that the site works closely with Mobile operators, which means that the mobile aspect of the service, once launched with a given operator in a given country, will be stable and not subject to interruptions. When Twitter launched, I could get updates from my friends on my Jordanian mobile. Then Twitter stopped that, effectively making Twitter a “web only” service for me.
Well, now Watwet and Twitter have essentially been integrated. If you are a user of both services, you can use one to update the other. Every Watwet is a Tweet and vice versa. This also means that Watwet can now be used by, say, Zain Jordan users to receive their Twitter updates on their mobiles. Cool ha?
When Watwet launched, the only mobile operator that worked with the service was Zain Jordan. Now, Watwet works with Mobily in Saudi Arabia, with other regional operators joining soon. There is even an international number that enable mobile Watwetting from basically anywhere.
The Watwet/Twitter integration solved a dilemma for me personally. My Watwet network consists of my “local” friends and just felt more cosy, while Twitter has a more global feel. Since Watwet was launched, my Twitter account was basically dormant. Sometimes I didn’t know what was the most appropriate place for an announcement. Now, I just use Watwet to update Twitter too, and sometimes even my Facebook status.
Watwet has also recently overhauled its interface and moved to a simple “following/follower” model. In its earlier incarnations, Watwet had a “friendship” model based on reciprocal agreement from two people to become friends.
If you are a blogger or a news site, a radio station or an event organizer, Watwet makes a lot of sense for as a mobile reach out tool to your audience. Take the Jordanian daily newspaper Addustour for example. Their channel on Watwet is already subscribed to by over 9000 people, who receive local and international news updates via Watwet.
On the more geeky side of things, Wawet has just launched the beta of its public APIs. This means that developers can now easily integrate Wawtet functions into web, mobile and desktop application. You can check out those API at developer.watwet.com.
Stay on the look out for more developments on Watwet. If you still have not checked out the service, give it a try.