Saturday, December 13, 2008

CoffeeBuzz: A Twitter for coffee?

by Imran Ali

December 13, 2008 at 6:10 pm · Filed under Locative, iPhone

Yesterday saw the release of an intriguing iPhone app for coffee afficianados - Kisky Media’s CoffeeBuzz, inspired by the volume of Twitter users who like to share the fact they’re currently engaged in a caffeinated beverage.

The app enables users to…

* use the iPhone’s locative abilities (GPS, wifi, cell triangulation) to locate coffee shops in the vicinity, as well as share your favourite haunts.
* show what nearby CoffeeBuzz users are drinking.
* microblog your current location & beverage with other CoffeeBuzz users, or Twitter your beverage, along with location.

The user experience is surprisingly simple, requiring no complex configuration, letting users get straight to the fun in a weird inversion of the oft-quoted ‘locative coffee shop coupon’ example telco execs like to pitch! Though sadly, my favorite chai tea wasn’t listed in the available options :(

Like, Smule’s Ocarina, CoffeeBuzz’s ostensible playfullness belies a powerful network effect, some locative smarts and the potential for incremental revenues. Creators Katie Lips and Paul Stringer - also cofounders of Treasuremytext - hope that moving beyond the 99¢ price can make the app sustainable, even with a modest userbase, but that the platform opens opportunities to partner with coffee brands and coffee shop owners. SBUX anyone?

Like Treasuremytext, perhaps what’s more interesting than the app itself, is the story of the app’s creation. The team was recently commissioned - by Liverpool’s International Centre for Digital Content - to create an iPhone development training courss, sharing its insights in a 30-page report that covers concept, strategy, design, development, App Store deployment and marketing.

CoffeeBuzz is currently available for the price of a good latte, for $3.99 at the iTunes App store; also, The Making of CoffeeBuzz is freely downloadable as a 6mb PDF.