David vs Goliath - Can Rabbler replace Twitter?
All is not well in Twitterverse. Noise about its imminent demise has always been around, but it has grown louder lately. The travails of Twitter have been well documented, and now Rabbler wants to make a play for the public conversation space. Can it?
Rabbler is a home-grown social network. It is a social polling platform embedded on a microblogging layer. Instead of a login-based system, Rabbler’s primary authentication is the phone number, similar to WhatsApp. It claims that this simple tweak solves the two biggest problems that are ailing Twitter:
1. Lack of a social graph
Most users quit Twitter before they are able to make a social graph. A person who lands up on Twitter has zero connections to begin with, both in the public and the private DM space. You can’t message someone on Twitter unless that someone follows you, so it becomes a chicken and egg problem.
Rabbler allows you to chat with anyone in your contact list pretty much like WhatsApp, thus building your social graph instantaneously.
By making your phone number your primary identity, it’s very easy for Rabbler to block trolls. Once blocked, a new phone number is required, unlike Twitter, where trolls can resurface by creating another login.
Rabbler messages can have 256 characters, slightly more than Twitter’s 140. Rabbler started off as a polling platform, and is now pitching itself fair-and-square against Twitter. It is trying to onboard users using its unrivalled polling capabilities. It supports media-rich polls across multiple formats – Multiple Choice Questions, Rating, Ranking and Free Answers.
According to Amod Agarwala, Co-founder and COO of Rabbler, “We did not put polling as an afterthought, it’s the front and centre for us. Femina Miss India has already started using Rabbler for their audience polls. The next step is to get the likes of Big Boss to start using this new-age polling tool.”
Rabbler has built a funky Paid Voting feature where, depending on the event or TV show, the audience can buy votes for their favourite contestants. This is still in beta and Femina Miss India is the first one to try this out. On offer – a day out with the beauty queens of Delhi for one lucky voter.
Rabbler has also piqued the interest of a political party and they are in discussions on how best Rabbler can be used to support their needs.”
What’s next in the immediate pipeline?
Rabbler is building a feature called “Channels”. This serve two purposes:
- Create large groups with mutual interest, e.g., a housing society. Private polls can be launched in these rooms, invisible to the general public.
- Divide your feeds into segments, say, politics, movies, etc. So instead of having one cluttered timeline, you have the option to segregate them into manageable chunks.
So, can Rabbler meet its seemingly improbable ambition of supplanting Twitter?
This article is sponsored by Rabbler.