The evolution of Group Communication

24 Apr

Technology is always enabling us to make processes in our real life more effecient, and it seems the case that one of the newer cutting edges is increasing the richness of our social communication. With the exponential adoption of smart mobile phones and app development over the past couple of years, social communication has evolved drastically from standard emails and text messaging to private group communication crossed over with small social networks.

The roots of group messaging began about two years ago when companies like Twilio made SMS costs cheaper both financially and thru decreased develoment time. With API’s available like Twilio’s, companies like GroupMe pioneered the group messaging space. Their apps and website allowed people to send text messages to each other as if they were an email with a reply-all feature.

Private group communication wasn’t just about text messages though. The combination of Facebook’s massive growth and privacy concerns, and mobile applications on the rise, gave cause to the development of private social networks based on your phone contacts (aka your real social network as some would call it). Companies like Path provided a day-to-day journal-like social network that allows you to share pictures, videos, and messages with your ‘real social network’.

Within the past year we’ve seen Kik, which is more of a pure group messaging app like GroupMe, release its own development libraries to allow other apps to share content into a Kik conversation. The theory being you could have one app to draw pictures and then share that into one of your group conversations on Kik, and your friends in that Kik convo could then interact with what you’ve shared.

Another company creating their own spin on evolving group communication, Kibits, has recently developed an app that focuses on sharing images, video, messages (almost what’s become standard), as well as notes, links, locations, and documents. Their apps are pretty sweet and sharing media within a group like this is very effective. It’ll be fun to watch where they go with this and if they extend the platform with a fully functional website.

Of course I saved the best for last ;) Our goal with Shizzlr is to bridge the gap between group communication and local discovery to allow people to have a better social experience figuring out their social lives. We’re trying to increase the richness of social communication by not only seamlessly connecting friends across Shizzlr, Facebook, email, and SMS, but also to allow them to share social objects like events, places, and ideas with each other. People can discover public events going on around them and great places to check out, and then share them into group chats with their friends so they can hang out and have some fun things to do.

Who knows what’s to come, but in the mean time I’ll do Shizzlr!

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