Archive for the ‘group chats’ tag
Today, Salesforce is further beefing up its line of enterprise products with a new IM client and screensharing software.
The instant messaging comes via Chatter, Salesforce’s Facebook-like, Yammer-esque collaboration and task-management app. The IM client is cloud-based (so no need to download or install anything) and lets employees get down to business via one-on-one and group chats.
“People spend so much time setting up meetings,” said Salesforce SVP Kendall Collins in a phone call with VentureBeat. “You have all the people you work with in Chatter, and you’re kind of a single click away.”
The IM app lives inside Chatter, hanging out on the lower right corner of the screen, just like every other embedded IM program you’ve ever seen. It will be particularly familiar to users of Google Talk or Facebook Messenger, a fact that Collins makes no bones about.
“Facebook has shown the way,” he said. “Business apps are different, but not so different … In business, I just want to be able to ping people and ask them in-context things in the workplace every day.”
Users can also make lists for various teams or groups. For example, if Meghan, Heather, and I are working on a project called “Hazing the Intern,” I can set up a chat list and instantly draw my colleagues into a quick, no-fuss meeting.
Chat options appear in various places around Chatter, especially in the feed. Collins said relevance is key, so you’ll likely find chat options anywhere you’d see a task that might need real-time communication. For example, if Meghan posted a Hazing the Intern expense approval request in the feed, I could choose to chat with her directly about that request from that part of the interface.
“The most important thing was the context,” he said. “This is really tied into the core business.”
Chat features can also be built into other third-party apps that use Salesforce.
We asked whether end users, or “employees” as they’re known in the enterprise, would be willing to give up their current IM clients, but Collins said they don’t actually have to give anything up because they don’t have to actively adopt anything new.
“Everyone’s going to instantly have it,” he said. “They don’t have to download anything. It’s a ubiquitous, easy-to-use product. … People may have IM clients that they’re still using; for many customers, they’ll co-exist.”
And for leadership and management, Chatter IM solves the who’s-on-which-client problem. “Some of our customers are really anxious to move to this because they have some empoyees on one client and other employees on a second client,” said Collins. “They don’t have 100 percent coverage.”
Collins said the Chatter team is also spending a lot of time around archiving, discovery, and compliance. Prepare for Chatter IM compliance to launch right around Dreamforce.
As for screensharing, we’re sad to say that feature is coming as a limited pilot only starting in Q3 2012, and Collins couldn’t give us a general roll-out date. “We don’t have a target date; it’s really going to depend on the pilot,” he said. “We want to test it, get feedback, and continue to make it an amazing product.”
So far, much like the Chatter IM app, it’s comparable to other professional and consumer apps in its class, with an added focus on context. Screensharing is as simple as a drag-and-drop action inside Chatter IM.
Salesforce was founded in 1999 and went public in 2004. Currently, we’re told Chatter alone has 150,000 companies as clients.
Image courtesy of Andresr, Shutterstock
There are lots of apps for finding the right people and parties at South By Southwest this year, but what about, you know, actually going to panels and sharing your thoughts about them? Well, there’s Twitter for short-form public sharing, and messaging apps like GroupMe for group chats. But HackPad has a more serious idea: actually taking notes about the panels and keynotes you go to, with other people who care.
It sounds dangerously productive for the fun-oriented event. And it is — this is one of the better live group word-processing products I’ve seen in a while.
The interface is nice and simple. You log in with Facebook, or with Google or by creating a new account. Then you can just start creating and editing docs. Participating users appear on the right side of each page, and each person gets a unique color bar on the left side of where they’re typing. Live edits are in real-time, so you can watch other users pounding out their own notes while you’re busy sharing yours.
The top menu includes a simple set of actions for all the main things you need to do. There’s a plus button for creating new docs, a search bar, and basic WYSIWYG commands including a big button for creating links to other docs or the web (something a lot of editors don’t show off well in their interfaces).
Two-man veteran engineering team Igor Kofman and Alex Graveley (who earlier in his career created Tomboy Notes) also created a special sub-site for SXSW. A list of every panel and talk is available now at austin.hackpad.com, organized by hour and by day. If you’re here at the rain-soaked conference, or interested in any of the panels, be sure to check it out.
Overall, the Y Combinator-backed company feels like it’s on the right track for pushing online collaboration forward.
Een frisse neus halen buiten is in deze dagen zeker mogelijk. Zo slenterde ik deze week door de straten van Amsterdam en viel mij de billboard van Frienzzup op, een mobiele applicatie die claimt dat zij een stapje verder gaan dan het populaire WhatsApp.
Zo is het niet alleen mogelijk om te chatten met vrienden, maar kun je tevens op een kaart zien waar je vrienden zijn en waar andere Frienzzup-gebruikers te vinden zijn. Hierdoor is het mogelijk om nieuwe vrienden toe te voegen aan je persoonlijke lijst en met hun te chatten. Ook kunnen gebruikers foto’s delen, die weer terug te vinden zijn op de kaart. Als extraatje is het mogelijk om group chats te hebben, waar je iedereen voor kunt uitnodigen.
De ontwikkelaar achter dit programma komt uit Nederland, maar bij het bekijken van de website valt vrijwel direct op dat de doelgroep internationaal is. De applicatie is te gebruiken op iOS- en Android-apparaten. Binnenkort zullen er ook applicaties verschijnen voor BlackBerry- en…
Facebook has upgraded its Android app to add better navigation, easier access to messages and faster photo viewing, the company announced today.
The Android mobile app has always been behind when it comes to design and features compared to the iPhone version. With the newest update to Android, Facebook finally looks like it is finally giving its Android brethren the attention they deserve. The Android Facebook app has been downloaded more than 100 million times, so it’s strange that the app has seen much less support.
In a rather scarce blog post, Facebook said three things are emphasized in the update. First, photos and albums can now be viewed twice as fast. Second, messages and notifications are now accessible from an icon at the top of the app. Third, there’s a new way to navigate with a left-hand column that displays the News Feed, Groups, games and apps. The navigation column looks almost identical to the iOS version.
The Facebook app works for Android 1.5 and up, so most Android phones will work with it. The new app will be live “soon” in the Android Market.
On Android, Facebook now has to contend with Google+ when it comes to mobile features. Google+ on Android lets you do mobile Hangouts with video chat, use Messenger for quick group chats and today it even added a search bar that lets users find anything on the network.
A few more looks at the new Facebook app for Android can be viewed below:
Enflick, the Canadian creator of popular apps like TextNow and PingChat, is taking a big step forward today with the launch of Touch, a new mobile messaging platform to keep in touch with your closest friends and family.
Yes, that sounds a bit similar to Path, the year-old mobile social network that just recently received a major update. But Touch, available for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, is more focused on real-time chat rather than merely posting updates. It’s about active communication with your close friends, instead of just passively seeing status updates.
And Touch has one other major advantage over its better-funded competitor: a massive pre-existing user base. The company says it has 21.5 million worldwide users on PingChat and TextNow, and Touch will come down as an update for 13 million existing PingChat users.
Enflick co-founder and CEO Derek Ting tells us that Touch will completely replace the existing PingChat network — which makes sense, since Touch is basically an evolved form of that app. Like PingChat, you can have quick text conversations with your friends and share photos, but Touch will also let you easily keep track of all of your friends’ updates in typical social network fashion.
The Touch app looks attractive (though perhaps a bit too similar to Path), and it lets you easily move friends in and out of conversations to make group chats easier. Like all mobile messaging apps, it lets you know if your messages have been delivered and read, as well as when your friends are typing.
Still, Enflick has a long road ahead, as there are plenty of other messaging solutions on the market. And when it comes to keeping in touch with close friends, many are already praising Path’s new update for its slick new interface and life-tracking features.
Based in Waterloo, Ontario, Enflick just recently raised $1 million in seed funding from Freestyle Capital, the Menlo Ventures Talent fund, and both Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga’s managers (not surprising, given the massive teen demographic for free texting services).
It’s late November, and UK Lord Chancellor Sir John Simon has just told Parliament that Britons have sent watches, jewelry and gold to help the government pay for war. According to Sir John, “One girl sent a small envelope, asking me to accept her ‘peace offering.’ Inside was her engagement ring.” Incredible. Particularly because I just learned of this from a tweet chronicling the world war that’s raging in Europe right now.
You didn’t know there was a war going on in Europe? That’s because it took place in 1939. It’s the beginning of the Second World War, and it’s being retold on this date and at this time by the Twitter account @RealTimeWWII. After tweeting for only three months, @RealTimeWWII, which according to Mashable is maintained by Oxford graduate Alwyn Collinson, has already exceeded 150,000 followers. Why can’t brands be this inventive?
WHERE ARE THE BRANDS?
While unique and intriguing, this historical exhibition had our post-advertising team wondering, “Isn’t this a major missed branding opportunity?” Where’s LIFE, whose logo is often seen on the images posted to the account? Where’s the History Channel? Can you imagine the benefit if a university’s history department had developed this idea as a course exercise?
Seemingly as fast as new digital tools emerge, impassioned fans have found new and unique ways to use them. @RealTimeWWII is just one example of the versatility of Twitter, which in its short history has chronicled the comic ramblings of one man’s father (which spawned a short-lived sitcom), hosted group chats, brought fictional TV characters to life (both branded and fan-based), fueled computer sales and provided a platform for customer support but, most important, has given brands a new way to creatively connect with its audience.
PERCEIVED TWITTER GATEKEEPERS
So why aren’t more brands actively searching for more ways on Twitter to provide valuable and engaging content, like @RealTimeWWII? The necessity for a sustained, persistent effort coupled with the blind faith that people will eventually catch on can be a major barrier to entry for brands that have little patience for devoting resources to an effort with no immediate or guaranteed return.
Success on Twitter is often calculated by the most tangible of measurements: number of followers. Any seasoned marketer knows, however, that given the numerous black-hat get-rich-quick methods of gaining followers and the necessity for relevance, follower count is not a metric you can ultimately measure success by. It’s this obsession with numbers that brands must get past to take a whack at creating the good stuff, the content that doesn’t scream “Marketing!” and that instead entertains or informs or, as in the case of @RealTimeWWII, both.
STEAL THESE IDEAS
The branded Twitter landscape isn’t barren, though. There have been a few efforts (like the Weather Channel, below) that can be considered quite post-advertising, and also a few that we’ve come up with on our own. Take a look, and let us know your ideas in the comments:
- The Weather Channel taking over accounts named after hurricanes, like @Irene, where they give up-to-the-minute information about the storm from its point of view.
- Paramount Pictures or Disney Pixar creating characters’ personas on Twitter before the specific movie is released, in a prequel of sorts, as if the character had a Twitter account before the movie action took place.
- Ford creating a unique Twitter account for the development and eventual unveiling of its latest model, including live updates from the manufacturing facility, gradual insight into features and road testing (with media).
- Sports Illustrated creating an account for a fictional Chicago White Sox batboy in which he chronicled the famed 1919 “Black Sox” season in real time.
Even if a brand doesn’t come up with an idea but finds an effort still in its early stages that it can align itself with and that can become a true resource, the brand can own the effort and benefit from the momentum. The History Channel could still help sponsor the @RealTimeWWII effort, enabling it to be developed in more languages (currently offered in Spanish @TiempoReal_IIGM and Russian @war_only) or even from different perspectives (British, German, American, etc.). Regardless, any brand that wants to get involved will have to do more than just logo slapping if it wants to keep the existing audience and momentum.
Whether your brand is filling the wastebasket with half-baked ideas or looking for the right idea to help cultivate, Twitter is fertile ground for brands extending their reach and helping grow audiences. Success won’t be immediate, no matter what your goal, but if you believe in the idea and dedicate the right amount of sustained resources, content marketing on Twitter can pay huge dividends.
What opportunities are being embraced or missed by brands on Twitter? Do you have any more to add to our list?
It’s been more than 10 years since I’ve used AOL Instant Messenger as my go-to chat client, but the new AIM may just be good enough to change that.
AOL launched a preview of its latest AIM vision today, which includes new desktop, mobile, and web apps. Surprisingly, AOL has cut out much of the clutter that previously made AIM a chore to use — it’s now streamlined and focused on conversations. Group chats are now a core part of the service, and video chats are seamlessly integrated.
The new AIM looks so dramatically different that you could easily mistake it for something from a fresh-faced startup — and that wouldn’t be far from the truth. The revamped messaging client comes courtesy of Jason Shellen and his team, who joined AOL after it snapped up Thing Labs a year ago.
Thing Labs was best known for its social media reader Brizzly, and Shellen admitted to me that there was some Brizzly DNA in the new AIM. That’s obvious from the way the new apps are organized, which resemble Twitter clients more than they do past AIM versions.
There’s less of a focus on the buddy list, and instead recent conversations are highlighted. Conversations are also synchronized, so you can easily hop back into a chat on your phone that you started on your desktop. You can easily add multiple friends to a conversation, which is infinitely more useful than boring old group chat rooms. You can also sign in with your Facebook and Google Talk accounts to chat on those services, which limits the need to juggle multiple clients.
Another nice addition: You can send messages to friends while they’re offline (and vice versa), which will be instantly received when they sign on. In this respect, the new AIM resembles one of the hot new mobile messaging services like Kik or Facebook Messenger.
Conversations are also more interesting now, thanks to the ability to post videos and images inline. That adds some nice spice to chats that previously consisted of text and links. The new AIM also takes a cue from Twitter and Facebook in the way it handles status updates. Your updates are now broadcast to specific people who follow you.
Video chats also seem improved over previous versions of AIM, but it doesn’t yet support group video chats. For now, Shellen says, group video conferencing is available via AV by AIM, a simple web-based solution. (I wouldn’t be surprised if AV eventually gets integrated into the new AIM; AOL would be stupid not to do so.)
Shellen’s crew also fixed AIM’s file sharing problems by giving up on the idea of direct peer-to-peer sharing. Now when you upload a file, it gets stored on AOL’s servers, where it will sit for around 72 to 100 hours. You can easily share links to files that you’ve uploaded via AIM and on the web. Images that you’ve uploaded will also be displayed inline, just like when you link to an image somewhere on the web. Shellen wouldn’t speak to any file size limit, but I would imagine it’s somewhere around a few gigabytes per user.
I’ve been testing out the new AIM iPhone app over the weekend, and it’s definitely an improvement over the previous boring and buggy AIM app. It includes all of the features above, except for video chat, and seems exceptionally polished for an initial release.
All of the new AIM apps feature integration with Twitter and Instagram, though not in the way you’d expect. You’ll only receive updates from those services that are relevant to you, for example when someone mentions you on Twitter, or likes one of your Instagram photos. Shellen tells me that, eventually, the new AIM could morph into a truly cross-service app like Brizzly, but that’s not going to happen anytime soon.
The desktop and web versions of the new AIM are available right now, while the Android and iPhone mobile apps will land later today.
Samsung’s cross-platform messaging application called ChatON has arrived in the Google Android Market this morning. The service, announced in August, is similar to RIM’s BlackBerry BBM or Apple’s iMessage in that it allows for an alternative to SMS or MMS messaging.
At present, ChatON supports Android, bada and Samsung feature phones, but the company promises support for iOS and BlackBerry soon.
In addition to mobile chat, ChatON plans to offer a Web-based client that will allow users to chat from their PCs, too. Users can have private 1-to 1-conversations, participate in group chats and share media, like photos, videos, voice messages and contacts.
On Samsung’s feature phones, the service allows for text, images, calendar appointment and contact sharing. On smartphones, users will have a few extra options, such as the ability to comment on each other’s profiles, send multimedia messages that combine text and audio, and view their own “Interaction Rank,” which displays how active they are on the ChatOn network.
The Android Market description also adds something about sending “animation” messages, which are created by drawing.
The Android version is available here in the Android Market. It works on Android 2.2 and 2.3. The Samsung (bada, feature phone) version is available in the Samsung App Store. (Note that this is not available in all markets).
Hat tip: Samsung Hub
Samsung is launching ChatON, a cross-platform mobile chat service similar to RIM’s BlackBerry BBM. The service, which is expected to launch in September, will be showcased at this week’s consumer electronics-focused IFA Conference.
is an interesting launch for Samsung because it will support a variety of mobile operating systems, including Samsung’s own bada mobile operating system, Android, feature phones and even competitors’ platforms, including iOS and BlackBerry.
In addition to supporting mobile chat, ChatON will offer a Web-based client that allows users to chat from their PCs, too. The service’s users can have private 1-to 1-conversations or participate in group chats. ChatOn also supports sharing media, like photos, videos, voice messages and contacts.
On feature phones, the service allows for text, images, calendar appointment and contact sharing. But on smartphones, users will have a few extra options, such as the ability to comment on each other’s profiles, send multimedia messages that combine text and audio, and view their own “Interaction Rank,” which displays how active they are on the ChatOn network.
ChatON will go live next month in over 120 countries and 62 languages.