Send your friends useful notifications with ease. Pip!

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Pip is the first product launch from Alpha, the new consumer product labs group at Aol. Ask me anything, PH!
@ryan hi! got an email? or ping me at kia at venturebeat dot com -- would love to chat
@imkialikethecar firstname at firstnamelastname
@ryan shared a beta of Pip! a few weeks ago (#hipsterstartuphumblebrag) and I've been looking forward to its launch when more of my friends are on it. It feels very Yo-inspired, giving people an quick way to interact one-to-one but with far more utility than Yo's initial release. I'm curious to see what other types of pips (is that what we're calling them?) come out in the future and if they open an API so others can add to it. Spill the deets, other Ryan!
@rrhoover heh, yeah, we call them pips. Our next release (coming this month) will include two new general pips ("ETA?" and "I'm on my way!") as well as some fun ones for the holidays. After that? Well, you tell me, what do you all want from Pip? Oh, and API. We're not totally sure yet, but it's definitely something we've considered. We'll see kind of interest there is!
@ryan @rrhoover an API for this could be VERY interesting! :)
@ryan taking inspiration from @jw's Goji, perhaps a "Let's grab coffee/drinks/food" pip that suggests a recommended location in-between the sender and receiver. Even (selfishly) better, what if you could Pip friends rad products you find on Product Hunt? :)
@jw @rrhoover we've definitely talked about that meeting / location! I think it's a real possibility. Product Hunt pip? Will see if I can pull some strings!
@ryan your API key is only a few clicks away :) http://www.producthunt.com/v1/oa...
Really clean and simple design / experience! Enjoying it so far...
@thejulielogan thanks! We really wanted to boil the experience down as much as possible, and provide something that made it not only much easier to send common kinds of messages, but also to make those messages even more useful to receive via pip than if it was sent via traditional text message. (That said, if your friends aren't on Pip yet, we'll still send the best possible version of each pip message via SMS.)
@thejulielogan @ryan that's an interesting bit, that you send SMS to friends who aren't on the app yet. curious about the decision making behind that.
@thejulielogan @sammybauch well, came from two things. First, Pip is about making messaging easier, and we kind of miss out on that goal if EVERYONE you know has to be on Pip in order to make use of it. That isn't really easy, right? We wanted to provide some value to everyone sending and receiving messages, not punish users for not having their friends on Pip yet. Second, we think the most common means of encouraging users to share apps and services with their friends are kind of lame. Instead of asking you to spam your friends, just use the app as you please. Pip will do what it does best -- send your friends your messages -- and if it's via SMS, we'll subtlely let them know that the message was sent with Pip.
@ryan yeah makes a great deal of sense. I do think that requiring the recipient to have the app reduces immediate utility, but your way potentially reduces growth. It's just one of those fine lines to tread in mobile (messaging especially) products and it's always interesting to hear the reasoning behind the decision. Any concern about blowback from users who receive your SMSs? I assume the SMS is sent from the user's device rather than your servers via Twilio or something? And then I guess users without the app are sent a link to a page that has the information like sender's location (where necessary)?
@sammybauch well, growth is certainly important, but I'd rather err on the side of maximum usefulness. The SMS is sent from our servers, not from the user's phone, to maximize ease of sending (i.e. fewer taps). We're def careful to watch and see whether the SMS recipients won't be into it, but we also include instructions on how to immediately stop receiving any SMSs from us ("reply back with STOP" or something to that effect).
Congrats on the launch, Ryan :)
@kevinrose much love, buddy :)