UK mobile RSS reader Mippin is upgrading its service to cater for the iPhone and the Android G1 after witnessing a marked increase in use of the service by these handsets. The question is, will we notice?
Mippin says the average user duration is just over 5 minutes but on the iPhone and G1 it is 7+ mins. The user churn on G1 and iPhone is minimal (of 100 users who visit on those devices virtually all are still using the service 2 months later). Plus Mippin has launched an Android application which has had 20,000 downloads thus far. None of this is that surprising. Everyone knows the mobile web rocks on these devices compared to any other handset. This is not really big news.
And the trouble is, Mippin’s business model – monetising RSS feeds tailored specifically for mobile by sharing revenue with publishers – could have a real up-hill battle getting anywhere.
It also seems odd, that after getting their actual VC on board as CEO to steer the company, that they are reduced to making a big song and dance about tweaking the interface for the iPhone. I mean, shouldn’t that have happened a while back?
Granted, Mippin is gunning to be the application whcih takes the process of reading RSS feeds on your mobile into the mainstream. If there is one startup out there that could do it, Mippin is probably it. However, one really does wonder if this will happen. iPhone applications appear to be the way forward for many publishers. Plus personally I find the Google Reader on the iPhone to be amazing. I just don’t use Mippin. Does anyone else? Feel free to comment below.
Of course, I may be completely and utterly wrong. Quantcast and Compete both shore Mippins traffic heading in the right direction. This is US traffic, so the uptake there may well be greater than we think, back here in the UK. In which case Mippin should be talking about traffic, not interface tweaks.