For those who like their microblogging in Cyrillic, the Russian-language multimedia platform Futubra launches officially today.
Futubra is the latest release from the Mail.ru group which already provides a free email service, ICQ and a stable of browser and social network games. It also has a stake in VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, which is somewhat like Facebook.
A quick look at the stream shows a timeline much like Twitter, with video and images that arrive in the stream expanded. Scrolling is endless depending on which accounts you follow, which makes for a long timeline but an interesting and colourful experience. Though for quick browsing, that’s a lot of material to scroll through in comparison with Twitter’s pop-open option.
The current version is Web-only, but designed for use on a range of operating systems on any kind of device, so expect apps for iOS, Android, Symbian and Windows phones to arrive soon.
Mail.Ru Group Vice President for Strategic Projects Anna Artamonova says there is a need for a multimedia microblogging platform, ”In the process of developing the Futubra concept, we were guided by the fact that most microblogging and social networks simply didn’t offer us enough functionality. “As a result we came up with a service combining social and media features in which users can read each others newslines as media. We think users will like this concept and Futubra will gain its own significant to a particular audience that will appreciate this functionality.”
Alexey Terekhov, head of the Futubra project, admits he designed it for himself. ”We made Futubra first and foremost for people like us – active, really into new technologies, everything mobile and a way to always be at the center of events. We just think a social media platform should be about always learning and exploring the world around us and fully open to everything new.”
Though the launch is today, Futubra remains in development. The current beta version is fully functional for users to share images, video and text. Futubra is relying on user feedback to work out its future shape.
What do you think? The clean interface is simple to use and somewhat familiar. Could Futubra.ru take the Russian audience away from Twitter?