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Motribe, a mobile social network builder, with a focus on emerging markets recently launched a mobile payments and promotion platform for users in India.
According to the company, users in India will now be able to head “to the new Motribe mobile tribe builder”, to create a tribe and promote the tribe “on the Motribe portal”.
Users will have to pay for this ability, however, using the newly minted virtual currency, called Motribe Coins.
What differentiates Motribe Coins from other kinds of virtual currency is the fact that people can purchase it using airtime.
This is in line with Motribe’s philosophy of developing products designed for emerging markets.
“The user can pay using their mobile airtime instead of a credit card. The cost for 24 hours of advertising is 13 Motribe coins or INRs.30 (US$0.6),” he said.
According to India Today , the country’s 900-million mobile subscribers mean that it presents “the best launch pad for any mobile product”.
According to Motribe co-founder and CEO Nic Haralmabous:
India is a massive mobile market not only for Motribe but for any company looking to launch and test new mobile products. Motribe has been focusing on the Indian market for a fair amount of time and are happy to be innovating in this market.
The company is also hopeful that companies, as well as individuals, will use the virtual currency platform to promote their tribes.
There is already a history of companies building communities around their brands on Motribe.
One company that managed to do so in a particularly effective manner was Guinness in Nigeria.
The brewing giant sponsored a mobile tribe built around football supporters in the country, called Guinness VIP. The community went on to become one of Africa’s biggest mobile social networks.
While the feature is currently only available in India, Haralambous says Motribe will “be rolling the feature out in more markets soon”.