Short-range anonymous messaging (Secret meets Firechat)

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#5 Product of the DayMay 11, 2014
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Niv DrorHunterHiring@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@alonsoholmes slick UI, loving the BLE, how do you plan on acquiring new users?
Ryan HooverPro@rrhoover · Founder, Product Hunt
Digging the minimal design. Seems very similar to Popcorn Messaging (cc'ing the founder, @Popcorn_Ryan), unfortunately I don't have anybody on it within 70 meters so I haven't had a chance to really try it.
alonsoMaker@alonsoholmes · Founder @
@Nivo0o0 - Thanks! We wanted to see if we could make the interactions so obvious that we could avoid walkthroughs and etc. When we started hacking on Shortwave, conferences, concerts, and lectures were our big use-cases - high density of users that aren't allowed to talk aloud. We'd like to see it spread via twitter at these events and be the chat room for that physical room. Looking forward to WWDC :) @rrhoover Just downloaded and played with Popcorn Messaging - great concept+name, and some really awesome UI elements (like the hold-to-view-range feature). Bummer you couldn't play with Shortwave, but if you someday cross paths with another Shortwave user, you'll get a push notification. Also RE:UI - while on the messaging view, try putting your phone in airplane mode and clicking the no-internet banner on the bottom of the scree. It's worth it.
Niv DrorHunterHiring@nivo0o0 · VC at Shrug Capital
@alonsoholmes glad you mentioned the Popcorn hold-to-view-range feature! Taking credit ;) Ya very much looking forward to using this in potential high density areas (concerts, conferences) like you said. Wont be enough though to solve the chicken-egg problem. I've come to the conclusion that the only realistic way for one of these to take off is a. if it's embedded into the OS, for example if Apple extended Airdrop to include messaging in some practical way (unlikely). or b. if it's a part of a seemingly unrelated, but very small and practical single use case app; thereby making it a 2 use case app. For example, if Bump Technologies worked only for business cards - and worked well - so that it became the default go-to app at conferences. So while people are checking the app anyway, they start messaging people nearby... Otherwise I think it will be really taught to gather a large enough critical mass. I was so optimistic a few weeks ago =/
alonsoMaker@alonsoholmes · Founder @
@Nivo0o0 Nice! Snapchat meets google maps :) We've been thinking the same thing regarding OS-level integration. Apple (or android, for that matter) could absolutely do it with existing APIs, and maybe that's coming. However, I'm not sure that they would ever go as far as to allow people to message you out of the blue. So far, they've been sticking with the Airdrop (or firechat) "session" model, where both phones need to be in the foreground and users need to explicitly connect. I'd love to see messaging/contact exchange as a service you can toggle on and off, like location or bluetooth. On our end, we'll have to see how hard the brick wall is that we'll hit when this early-adopter/tech attention wanes. We need a chicken and an egg every 70 feet, haha.