Now, group messaging apps on smartphones to connect ‘real friends’

March 17th, 2011 - 6:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Facebook Washington, Mar 17 (ANI): You might love swapping status updates and photos with hundreds of acquaintances online, but the latest trend in social media is about linking your closest relationships.

A new category of smartphone applications can now be downloaded to your smartphone, and you can exchange texts, photos and voice messages with potentially dozens of friends and family members in one fell swoop, reports ABC News.

“This just takes the idea that if I want to communicate with a certain number of people about an idea, the message gets there,” said Mike Melanson, a writer for the new media blog ReadWriteWeb.

“On Facebook, I can post a status update and say ‘I’m going to this party’ or ‘I’m going swimming, anyone want to come?’ [And Facebook] sends it to any number of people. …Maybe they respond, maybe they don’t. It’s not really communication at that point,” he added.

With group chat apps, the users can limit the conversation to those they really want to participate and be sure that their message gets across.

Here are five of the top apps:

1. GroupMe: One of the most buzzed-about leaders of the pack, GroupMe says it’s a ‘private chat room for any phone’. This free app for iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android phones sets up a dedicated phone number for every group.

2. Beluga: Another top contender that lets users set up ‘pods’ of people for private messaging. This free app exists for iPhone and Android phones.Like GroupMe, the service can be used for message-, photo- and location-sharing and can be used by non-smartphone users. But conference calling is not included.

3. Fast Society: With the tag line ‘Built to Party’, this app says it isn’t just about sharing messages, but sharing experiences. Similar to its peers, the free app for iPhones lets users set up private groups.

4. Hurricane Party: This is exclusively meant for Party people. It lets users connect with groups of friends, but for the purpose of scouting out and starting impromptu and predetermined get-togethers. It locates each party on a map, lets you rsvp inside the app to show friends your plans and lets users be as public or private as they like.

5. Kik: Available for Android phones, iPhones and iPods, Kik lets users share messages and photos with group members around the world.It lets you know when a message has been read and even when someone is in the process of writing back. (ANI)

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