22 February 2011
Interview With Nimbuzz's
General Manager, Tobias Kemper
Recently, Nimbuzz, the only truly open, universal communications platform, has surpassed 3.65 billion mobile voice minutes in the last year, and 150,000,000 downloads of its application since launch in May 2008.
With 50% of downloads originating from the Nimbuzz.com, Nimbuzz, the new-generation mobile service providing free and low-cost calls and messaging. It is also one of the best performing applications in the popular Ovi and GetJar application stores.
Unlike Skype, Nimbuzz is the only open universal communications platform on the market today. With 30 million registered users across all major mobile operating systems, our success can be attributed to the fact that Nimbuzz is not solely a chat platform or a VoIP service, but a complete communications service that includes free talk and messaging.
Anyway, the good folks from Nseries blog managed to sit down and talk with Nimbuzz General Manager, Tobias Kempe and here is what he had to say.
When was Nimbuzz born? How did you come up with the name and why did you choose it?
Nimbuzz was born in 2006 as a solution to provide free SMS across the globe. Nimbuzz means “halo” – or “a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.” It fits our vision of “mobile freedom” very well. We believe in freedom, expression and the hope that our technology can make the world a smaller, closer, better place by fostering international community, cultural awareness and understanding. That may sound hokey, but we aim to live up to it through our actions, not our words.
After your company was founded in 2006, it was two more years before you launched your first app. What were you doing with the app during that time?
To start with, we mainly focused around providing a free SMS app, but in those two years Nimbuzz evolved into a complete messaging product with voice (VoIP) support that allows free calls and messaging with anyone worldwide. We made sure we could launch a mass-market product and delivered a Symbian and Java version at launch, covering the 1 billion feature phones on the planet.
After the first version was launched, how has it evolved from the original?
We do regular updates and quickly added support for PC and the mobile web to give people complete access to Nimbuzz, whether they are on a low bandwidth mobile network, or in an internet cafe. We then launched the iPhone app, followed by Blackberry and Android support. When users asked if we can tie other IM communities into the app, we obliged. We now provide support for Facebook, Yahoo, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, ICQ, Google Talk, MySpace and Hyves.
What are the toughest challenges in constantly developing an app and what are the most rewarding moments?
Focus is always a challenge, because so much is possible. Meeting users’ requirements around the globe remains one, too, especially in markets with low network speeds, high data tariffs, and a low penetration of smartphones. The most rewarding moments are when word of mouth pays off and people you meet tell you “Oh yeah, I got your app on my phone. I use it all the time to talk with friends and family abroad.”
How do you see Nimbuzz evolving in the future?
Nimbuzz will become even more fun and personal. Very soon we’ll bring N-World, where you can download free avatars and additional content, to the 200 million Symbian devices.
Nimbuzz on Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
Where does the name Nimbuzz come from?
Nimbuzz means "halo" – or “a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.” It fits our vision of "mobile freedom" very well. Although we are a business and need to be a business in order to survive. We also believe in freedom, expression and the hope that our technology can somehow make the world a smaller, closer, better place by fostering international community, cultural awareness and understanding. That may sound hokey, but we hope to live up to it through our actions, not our words.
About Nimbuzz: Nimbuzz, a next-generation mobile service for the online age, is the perfect mass-market solution that unifies all communication needs. The multi award-winning Nimbuzz application enables people to enjoy free and low cost mobile calls, free instant messaging, social networking and other rich communication features, using the internet capabilities of the their mobile device.
With more than 30 million users and over 70,000 new registrations per day, Nimbuzz is currently used in more than 220 countries worldwide and is available on thousands of the world's most popular devices across all major platforms – Symbian, iPhone, iPod touch, Android, BlackBerry, J2ME, as well as Windows and Mac desktop computers. Web and WAP clients are also available.
Social networks and communities supported by Nimbuzz include Skype®, Facebook®, Windows Live Messenger (MSN®), GoogleTalk™, Twitter, Yahoo!®, AIM®, MySpace, ICQ®, GaduGadu, Hyves, and many more.