Perth Developer Hits The Big Time
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Developer of the Hutchison Three social networking application, Kink Kommunity, is in the UK negotiating to take the service to 4 million Hutchison user there.

Loop Wireless CEO Gavin Bullen also has plans for Three Italy, meetings with Vodafone and has a US visit scheduled to meet with wireless operators there.

Kink is a social networking tool that allows members to incorporate blogging and mixed media content on a range of subjects. A key feature is the ability for users to contribute their own (moderated) content such as commentary, photos or video footage.

The service launched on Hutchison Three’s Australian network back in October last year and while it took a few months to reach a critical mass, the service is gaining in popularity amongst its 18-24 target audience.

Recently judged the ‘Best Mobile/Wireless Content’ at the 12th Annual Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) Awards, for the service has caught the attention of Three UK executives and bullen says the gusto with which they are taking to the idea is exciting for the small Perth-based developer.

Speaking to SmartOffice from the UK where he is currently hammering out a revenue sharing deal to get the service online there, Bullen said the nation’s 4 million Three users represented a significant opportunity compared to Hutchison’s Australian 3G subscriber base of 700,000. If he can do a similar deal with Three in Italy, the service will be made to an additional 4.3 million users.

In Australia subscribers pay a monthly $3 access charge to use the service which is hosted out of a Loop Wireless data centre back in Australia.

With the Kink Kommunity set to go live in the UK in a little over a month, Three and Loop executives are still working out the details, but Bullen said senior Three executives in the UK are keen to make a move into the social networking space and plan to put on a significant marketing blitz to get the community up to critical mass.

“They will work much harder to get take up. It will be considerably quicker as they are throwing a much heavier marketing spend at it. We should be able to reach critical mass here three or four months ahead of what we did in Australia,” he said.

“Product managers within a carrier are all trying to jostle to get their product marketed to the user base,” explained Bullen. “A new product like this with unrecognised brand has to work hard to get the marketing space.”

The 3G content system there is a little different from the user interface used locally explained Bullen and has only a limited number of icon positions and significantly something else is getting bumped to give Kink a good position on the grid.

www.loopwireless.com