Blinkx is today going public with an adjunct that bears little apparent connection to its core speech recognition-based web video search service. NowThen, a mobile photo blogging service, was supposedly initially developed by in-house marketers Erin Laye and Kat Malinowska as a tool to ease communications between Blinkx‘s San Francisco and London offices, Media Week said, but a small beta test appears to have convinced them to lift the curtain fully, with a new design, today.
NowThen enters the space enjoyed by the likes of moblogUK. Not unlike what Twitter does in the text space, NowThen mobile photos appear on the sender’s profile page and in friends’ mobile inboxes. Again like Twitter, the mobile costs are free. Unlike Twitter, users can create friend groups and assign privacy levels to them. Laye: “We have 2,000 registered users at the moment and are doing a push here in the UK because Britons send three times more text messages than Americans.” There’s little apparent strategy behind it yet, with some talk of potential premium features and advertising – all of which depends on whether the service can a) become popular and b) absorb the high costs of transmitting MMS messages.