Mobile social networking application RockeTalk has parntered with Indiatimes 58888 for ad sales and mobile content. RockeTalk incorporates instant messenger functionality – Yahoo, Google Talk, MSN and AIM, mobile content, and allows users to share photos, videos, send text and voice messages. I’ve used RockeTalk before, and it allows users to share content with others. The current version is a rather large download at 1.2MB (which means it will cost a user around Rs. 10-15 to download using GPRS), but the application is a fairly comprehensive social network and content service on the mobile.
Indiatimes, we noticed, is powering the “Fun Stuff” section in RockeTalk, featuring Wallpapers, Ringtones, Greetings, Videos, Animations, Polytones and Trutones. Videos are priced at between Rs. 15 to Rs. 30, depending on the operator. Ringtones and Animations are priced at between Rs. 9-15.
Now Indiatimes has integrated billing with the operator, which means that purchases made from Indiatimes, through RockeTalk will be deducted from the users balance, or incorporated in their post-paid bill. When I tried the Polytone service, there was an option for “Paid Download”. On clicking on the paid download option, it automatically downloaded the Polytone, without mentioning the price, or seeking a confirmation of purchase. I received a confirmation SMS, having been charged Rs. 15. I had Airtel reverse these charges, since I not given my consent to the purchase. I asked Ajay Vaishnavi, Director (Telecom) for Indiatimes about this.
“Our intention is to share the price clearly. Currently, it is still at a beta stage, and perhaps as a part of that, the pricing is not there. It’s not a case of intentionally not mentioning the price.” Vaishnavi mentioned that content and monetization will be through Indiatimes on an exclusive basis. RockeTalk has a lot of user generated content as well. Indiatimes will also incorporate Contests, Financial News, Sports, Dating, Deals, Q&A, Search, Jobs, Simply Marry, Classifieds etc.
RockeTalk will get a revenue share from the content monetization, and any advertising that Indiatimes sells for them. Vaishnavi did not specify the exact number of users that RockeTalk has, saying that the user base is sufficient. Indiatimes will also promote RockeTalk.