I guess in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, every young man knows Jay Chou, a super super star who is a musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer, actor and director. I mentioned his name here not because I am his fan (and I am definitely not), and the reason is that he just invested a mobile messaging app, called 31SMS. The mission is quite clear, to beat Whatsapp in Taiwan and maybe later in China.
We’ve written about several local mobile messaging apps. Be honest, 31SMS is the one we’ve never heard of before. Well, it’s true we don’t know Taiwan market that much (so readers, please leave your comments if you know: which are the leading mobile messaging apps in Taiwan?). I’ve tried 31SMS’s iOS version, and I have to say it’s a very disappointing product. But fair enough, I guess Jay needs time to learn how to make a good app.
On 31SMS’s official site, we read,
The term Trinity came from an idea in the Bible about the combination of three entities, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, into one being. Using the Trinity as our inspiration, we have coined this 3 in 1, or simply 31, in the name of our new application 31SMS. In this application we have developed a system for transmitting “Text, Pictures, and Video” to nearly any country you wish.
So it’s clear that like Whatsapp, 31SMS also allows its users to send Text, Pictures, and Video message to any other users for free. But, what surprised me is 31SMS got its patent technology, titled System and Method of Automatic Multi-media Mail. I could not get time to read through that patent doc, but I am wondering it will be kinda of threat to Whatsapp or other mobile messaging apps?
31SMS does comes with several interesting features. Scheduled SMS allows users to send the message to friends at certain time or at repeat time (weekly, monthly, annual). The Channel comes with a few channel such as music channel, English education, radio, job news etc where users can subscribe. It seems for me that the Channel is perfect for Jay to distribute his stuff such as music, video show etc.
Jay has millions of fans in Chinese world, which sounds super easy for him to acquire the users for 31SMS, but how?