virtual floating bottle: new mode of SNS?03 Mar 2011
Tencent.INC, the company behind QQ which is the most popular IM in cn, released a service named “Virtual Floating Bottle”.
I feel strange that there is no introduction in English world. So I try to describe it and leave some comments and thoughts.
QQ Mail is a good service, modeled after Gmail, also with some improvement. And now, I am talking about the “Floating Bottle” part. It is essentially an anonymous email service, in which we can send a message, in 140 words (like twitter :-) ), to one we don’t know. And then the receiver can answer the sender, so they communicate without knowing who each of them are.
Moreover, the number of bottles is limited (maybe avoiding spams). Kinds of bottles are provided. For example, “Bottles to tell the truth”, “Bottles to relax yourself”, “Bottles with hints”, etc. Different bottles give user different opportunities to meet another user. We can “fish” the bottles randomly, three chances every day.
Please forgive my poor English, and I’ve tried to describe it clearly. In fact, isn’t it an easy idea? However, I think it might be useful, and rather, powerful.
Researches on psychology tell us that people may be more sincere while communicating with a complete, no-profit-related stranger. So people may tend to share their deepest sites of their hearts through floating bottles. So true friends maybe easier made. So that a new mode of Social Network Service can be developed, in which the users don’t know each other at first time, but they can become good friends, for their true hearts shared, as well as no relations of profits or harms in reality!
Maybe I am over idealism. However, details remain to discuss though, I believe it is a new land of SNS, if who smart enough make good use of this service.
In my memory, there are some services in similar. But they are useless: importantly they haven’t gained enough users. QQ network enjoyed about 100 million online users, so the foundation is solid, and the communications through floating bottle is meaningful, helpful, and useful. In my opinion, MSN, Facebook, and Gmail can consider copying and developing the “floating bottle” service.
Take Facebook for example. It is quite easy to copy the service, and promote it. Then, if two users send more than 50 messages to each other, they must be interested in each other, and Facebook can prompt them to add each other as “special anonymous friend” for closer and more convenient talks. Of course, privacy and p profitable ways should be considered seriously.
Hopefully, my guess is true, and some stuff from Facebook, Google, or Microsoft reads this passage, appreciating it and me. :-)