According to their website, Bobba is “a pocketsize virtual world for Nokia phones, iPhone and iPod Touch.” At this point there is only Nokia version of the software available.
Bobba is an application that works only on your mobile phone. You need to download and install it, and then you connect to the service using your existing data plan.
What is it really?
I’ve been using Bobba now for a while (was registered user #120 or something) and also having discussions in Qaiku with other users.
In Bobba you have your own room that you can decorate and construct with some given elements. You also have your own avatar that can move from one room to another.
With your avatar, you can talk to other people in the room, walk around and sit.
That’s pretty much how I’ve understood Bobba.
So what do I think about Bobba?
I think a lot.
First of all, I fully understand how Habbo works. It’s a great concept for “the young” to communicate and hang around. Actually, it works propably for lot of the older people as well.
With http://www.bobba.com, I don’t get the point. Before you get mad at me let me explain.
Bobba is mobile, which means you can participate when you are away from your desk. Fine. But you can’t participate from your computer. I was bobbaing from the office, and I had to use my tiny cell instead of the big screen with full keyboard and mouse. Why?
If making your own room look nice is a key feature, why there is no easier way to do it?
Besides of playing Fab5, all you can do is to chat with the people in same room. When you chat, you need to meet with the other people in the same place (room), at the same time. The messages you write will disappear when new ones appear on the screen. What did we talk about 10 minutes ago? Can’t return to that discussion.
Now how 1990s is that? Can you expect a group of adults get online just for a chat, and agree the time beforehand through some other media? I think there are many other more effective ways to practice social interaction, online and offline. It’s hard to see any good community building features in Bobba.
And don’t get me wrong. I’d like to think myself as an early adapter. One part of my job is to try to find new exciting business models and market them effectively. I’m not being jealous, and I always try to find the potential in any service.
This time it’s too hard. With the current offering, I can’t see the hook.
Then again, the hook may not be visible to us yet. Maybe it has something to do with adult entertainment? Maybe they start offering commercial “items” and give them out for free for the community leaders. Just need the community first.
Ok, peeps. That’s my first thoughts and experiences. Please prove me wrong. I’m more than happy to tell the world about great things coming out.
In these times we need positive news. Please.
EDIT: I have to mention that Arctic Startup wrote about this earlier. I didn’t read the article before I wrote mine, but now I have to say that I’m not alona with my opinion.
EDIT2: More interesting stuff, an article and Sulake interview by Virtual Worlds News.
EDIT3: Bobba in Twitter