March 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM EDT
Mobile Messaging March Madness
On Thursday, I used Yobongo all day, which helped me find a new lunch spot, run into an old friend, and meet a Yobongo co-founder. That afternoon, I thought it would be a good time to write about the new group and mobile messaging wars for TechCrunch. A few hours later, Color Labs launched, to put it mildly. And, as I was editing this post on Friday night, Disco appeared, the new group messaging client from Google. Along with SxSW and the NCAA basketball tournament, this is surely March Madness. What does this explosion in mobile social apps mean. We’re witnessing an entirely new class of companies that are being built primarily for the mobile phone and tablet experience, not PCs or laptops. These companies are using basic social activities and leveraging smartphone capabilities to provide consumers with cooler features in exchange for the chance to construct more intimate networks. Just within the last year, larger forces like Facebook and Foursquare have released new mobile features to allow users to combine check-ins with location-based picture-sharing. Perhaps messaging, broadly defined, is converging toward more context-specific communications that leverage and combine bits of information our mobile devices already are aware of.
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