Made-in-Singapore app takes aim at Twitter

November 19th, 2011 | by Raymond Lau

 

Twitter may already possess a large portion of the pie serving up bite-sized pieces of information, but a bunch of developers based in Singapore is taking square aim at the micro-blogging service with a location-based twist.

Like Twitter, the app lets users feature – or feecha – an event or an object that’s close to him/her, which friends of that user can discover. Unlike Twitter, however, these feechas are all visualised on a map, and are colour-coded based on popularity.

It is currently possible to add your location to a tweet, but Twitter treats that as a secondary and optional feature. Feecha seeks to highlight that very feature and make it central to the app’s experience.

To create a feecha, users take a photo or video of the activity – such as a plate of mouth-watering char kway teow at an less-known hawker centre – and upload it to the map. A one-eyed monster will then pop up over the location for others to see.

For the feecha to grow, it must receive attention from other users, such as views and comments. A feecha which just isn’t interesting will slowly discolour and disappear from the map. This ensures that only the most updated and interesting happenings stay on the map.

The potential uses of Feecha are undeniable. Ever wondered what’s happening within those quaint shop houses as you amble down Ann Siang Hill? Ideally, you should be able to fire up the app and explore what other people are feecha-ing in your vicinity. You can then decide spontaneously to hop into a coffee shop for a book signing, for instance.

Of course, the app depends on complete spontaneity, and there’s the possibility that you’ll find zero feechas around you, especially now in the app’s early days.

Feecha also requires the user to enjoy and actively seek out serendipitous encounters. However, most Singaporeans will probably have a destination in mind, and won’t take the time to scan their surroundings for feechas. Businesses will also be unlikely to depend too much on such an inconsistent audience for their custom.

The biggest challenge, then, is to establish a large base of users as quickly as possible. To help push the numbers along, Feecha has announced that the user with the biggest feecha by 18 December will win S$8,888 in cash.

Feecha is available on the iPhone only, and an Android version will come by June 2012 (No S$8,888 for Android users, we suppose). The developers are also exploring the viability of a Windows Phone 7 version, and have no plans for a BlackBerry version.

This story first appeared on Techtalk, our technology content partners at Yahoo! News Singapore

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