With the market share of smartphones expected to grow from 2.3 per cent to a whopping 9.3 per cent by 2016, India is on its way to join the Top Five markets for smartphone shipments in the next four years, according to International Data Corporation (IDC). The growing number of smartphone devices and hence, mobile developers, whether it is Nokia’s Symbian, Android, Windows or Apple’s iOS, has triggered the growth of mobile applications for users to stay connected. In turn, with its presence across multiple IM channels, VOIP client and free messenger app Nimbuzz has clocked 1.7 crore user base in India.
According to G Rajeev, senior market analyst for mobile devices with IDC India (as stated in a press brief), “Consumers are growing accustomed to higher data usage and using handsets for entertainment and other content, instead of just as a communication device.” Perhaps this is why Netherlands based, Nimbuzz, a free call and instant messenger application service, has witnessed immense popularity since its launch in 2006. From a few users in its initial years, the brand has recently crossed the 10 crore users landmark, hence making into the big league of Top 20 most reached internet companies in the mobile and web communications space. Nimbuzz claims to be the first Indian internet company to have achieved this. For the record, the company relocated its headquarters to India in 2012.
To further strengthen its stake in the Indian market and to stay connected with the youth of this country, it recently became the IM Buzz partner of the movie ‘Kya Super Kool Hain Hum’, produced by Balaji Motion Pictures. The star cast was seen chatting on the Nimbuzz platform in the movie, in turn the movie was also promoted through the company’s mobile community.
In terms of its user base it now has more than 10 crore users in 80 countries: Middle East (3 crore); India (1.7 crore); South Asia (1.4 crore); Africa (1.3 crore); Europe (1 crore); USA (6.5 crore). Being a cross platform communications solution has helped the brand grow its subscriber base. It offers Voice, Video, Data Sharing and Social Chat on a single platform. It also claims to be the only multi-lingual platform with more than 25 regional languages. It offers free voice and video peer-to-peer calls, send instant messages and share data between all major communications platforms like MSN, GTalk, Yahoo!, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and J2ME as well as Windows, Mac and Web. In fact, it is easily supported on more than 5,000 handsets including biggies like Samsung, HTC, Nokia, LG, Huawei and many more. The wide reach and free services have helped reduce cost of calls to landline and mobile phones.
Nimbuzz CEO, Vikas Saxena, stated that families and friends are attempting to communicate with each other through mobile devices around the world, but many operating systems and communication platforms require the use of large amounts of expensive data. “Nimbuzz bridges this gap by providing a single platform, at low-to-no cost, across any device in any form of voice, video, file sharing and more. We are powering a global network of connected mobile users,” he added.
Another reason for its growth, especially in the emerging markets of India and Middle East is its wide channel of local carriers and global OEM device manufactures. Moreover, users can download the application from its website without being charged.