RealTime Weather From Real People On Dubai-Based Metwit.com

by Maya Rahal, April 30, 2012

Are you wondering what the weather is like now in a certain location you are headed to? Are you trying to avoid carrying that umbrella and ending up not needing it? Metwit.com is a social weather application that mashes up social realtime weather information from multiple sources to provide you with accurate, hyper-local weather conditions from real people.

Founded by four young Italian entrepreneurs, who were accepted to the latest round acceleration at Dubai-based SeedStartUp, Metwit takes geolocated information from Twitter, Instagram and the Metwit web application and displays it on maps and feeds to offer an instant, crowdsourced view of the current weather information. "Everyday there is a constant buzz of people talking about the weather, especially in the case of environmental  catastrophes. We want all this information to find one home," says Michele Ruini, co-founder and CEO as well as UX and idea designer at Metwit.

To scan this information and list it on the maps, the Metwit system, whose name is derived from the combination of "Meteorology" and "Twitter," relies mainly on Hashtags (#) that reference the weather on Twitter and Instagram, directly converting them into icons on the website.

Ruini identifies Metwit's target audience as "people who have already checked the forecast but want to know more  about the weather in realtime, which weather channels can't do." (Or perhaps don't do well on mobile in the region?) The team is also planning on implementing weather forecasts via weather providers in Italy, with the purpose of covering both forecast and realtime conditions.

The team is not thinking much about revenue streams for the time being, relying on the initial funding they received from the SeedStartup program and focusing on building a big user base to make marketing and advertisement more efficient when the application fully launches in the near future. So far the platform has attracted over 10 thousand visitors since testing began in December 2011, and plans to grow bigger by relying on viral marketing through Facebook, Twitter as they spread animations and funny videos.

We've noticed lately that due to the lack of marketing budget, many websites are relying on "funny" elements to attract more users, like the crocodile featured in the Crokodeals.com logo, and the comical small weather icons on Metwit. Spreading funny and shareable icons, logos and animation videos seems to be a trend. But, is it an efficient one? We can only wait and see…

A new function will be added within the next two weeks to the mobile application, which would alert users if someone within 50km is tweeting information about the weather. So unless you are seeking on the spot realtime weather information, this service would not be "serving" you much. But couldn't you check realtime weather within a 50km radius by simply looking up at the sky? As you stare at your iPhone instead, could using Metwit then be the ultimate expression of hopeless addiction to technology?

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Maya works as the managing editor at Wamda. She is also founder of Jaridtak.com and a big believer in the power of citizen journalism. She is a multimedia journalist and a digital media trainer and instructor. She holds a masters degree in digital media production from the University of Toulon, France. You can reach her at maya[AT] wamda.com, find her on Twitter @RahalMaya or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 
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