In one of my recent posts I mentioned that Mail.ru Group was preparing to challenge one of the world’s largest social media services Twitter in Russia and launch their own microblogging service. It appears we will see the Russian Twitter-killer earlier than I imagined.
According to the statement made by Mail.ru spokesman, the new service will be called Futubra.com (not .RU, mind it!) and will be launched already in January 2012. The product seems to be a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook. Apart from normal “tweets”. Futubra’s users will be able to share pictures and video, create events and groups. Just like in case of Twitter (and recently Facebook), Futubra will allow its users to subscribe for other people feeds without becoming “friends”.
While mobile Internet in Russia is not exactly widely used (only 4% of all Internet traffic in Russia is generated through mobile devices, reports comScore), Futubra team plans to create apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7 and Symbian at the same time as the web-based service.
Today Twitter has over 1 million Russian users. Whether Futubra will manage to take over a chunk of this audience or create even a bigger one, remains to be seen. Integration with Mail.ru Group owned social networks Odnoklassniki.ru and Moi Mir will definitely help to boost the numbers.