Not all of us have dexterous eye-thumb coordination when it comes to texting. So, anything that promises to ease our sore fingers is worth a shot, or two. Something that allows group text recipients speak to each other, is even better.
gText, or group text, falls snugly in this category of must-try innovations, especially for those of us who send out SMS-es to a bunch of people, and, maybe, several times a day — like, say, business owners who have discovered the joys of SMS martketing.
This innovative service allows users to send messages to multiple people while having to remember just one number.
But it’s real talent is that it allows all group members to reply to each other — creating discussion threads.
Threads for private use
For example, it works particularly well for consumers organising an event. It allows each member of the group to send out messages to all others by replying. If one person has a question, other text recipients will receive it and can answer it.
It is also effective in reaching out to hybrid phones, and those who do not use smartphones – only 2 million of the 24 million Australian cellphone users have smartphones. MobileRoo Pty. Ltd., the company that is offering the service, says its technology works with all mobile phones and can be integrated with Facebook as well.
Threads for business
For businesses, gText offers the advantage of reaching out to a broader audience in an increasingly fragmented market.
It also opens up a gateway to very targeted consumes by allowing businesses to sponsor certain groups’ messages. gText is able to offer this opportunity through an in-built search algorithm that scans through a group’s messages to identify its core interests.
How privacy groups might respond to such intrusions is anybody’s guess but right now it seems like a boon to advertisers.
The revenue model
gText is taking the freemium route – offering the service free to light users (up to five group messages each day) and charging heavy users and businesses. Users need to first sign up on gTalk’s website before they can set up groups and begin to use the service.
MobileRoo was started last July by Ila Arumugam, a software systems engineer who studied at Melbourne University. Arumugam initially developed an iPhone app that allowed businesses to send and receive high volumes of SMS texts. He later re-engineered the app to enable group SMS-es and other services to all phones.