Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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With the steady growth of microblogging apps from services such as Instagram and Twitter, it makes sense that the next logical step is uploading short audio clips of oneself to communicate something. That's precisely what Bubbly is offering and the potential is clearly there.
The app works a lot like many other social networking apps. Users can follow people as they please with no need to wait for friend requests to be accepted. Upon following them, they can view a short profile as well as any past audio or text based entries they've added. To add an Instagram style filter to things, users can add one of 12 filters to their audio entries with the ability to speed up or slow down the audio, as well as add a helium style effect and some other entertaining selections.
Everything about the app is quite easily accessible, right down to the ability to join up either with an email address or by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account to the service.
Users can find friends through these social networks, or they can browse amongst the most popular users. At the moment, these predominantly feature Indonesian or Indian actors and actresses but hopefully the app will prove more popular to the Western world soon. That's the main problem with Bubbly. It lacks the community. While browsing the app, I quickly realised that even the 'premium' celebrities had hardly used the app in a while which would put anyone off the $2.99 in-app payment required to interact with them. I'd have appreciated a way of viewing the latest comments and audio clips, rather than simply seeing what was most popular at the time. Like so many social networking apps, Bubbly's community is what will make or break it.
It's an enjoyable idea and the integration with other social networks should help it grow in popularity, as users find it easier to find friends. It's also quite quick to upload audio clips while maintaining the quality of the audio. The key point is to make sure that each user encourages their friends to sign up then I can see Bubbly flourishing as it ticks all the right social networking boxes so far.