Pownce is a new way of instant messaging, but the main new innovation is, that you can send messages to groups of people. You may heard about Twitter, which is similar to Pownce. The difference between Pownce and Twitter is, that you not only can send messages, but also links, files and events. The length of a message is not restricted to 140 characters. Furthermore your messages don't necessarily are seen by the public, you can also send them to certain people only.
Why Pownce can become the future of keeping-in-touch
Messages in Pownce can be like a small blog. You write about what you do and about what thoughts cross your mind. But no one can read your thoughts, if you don't want them to, only certain friends can. For example you can make groups like "close friends" or "workmates".
So friends can click on your site and see what you recently thought about.
It's easy to keep up-to-date about what your friends do. By reading you can inform yourself much faster than if you would ring them up.
Maybe you learn something about a friend you don't know that well. For example you discover similar interests.
Idea: Event specific pownce groups
A possible future innovation are open groups, that everyone can post to. For example you are at a concert and want to send a message to all other concert-visitors, so you can send it to that concert-group, and if the other visitor subscribed to that group, they will receive your message.
Why do I stress the mobile use of Pownce?
As soon as a thought strikes your mind you should be able to write it down and send it. Spontaneous ideas like "Going to the movies to watch movie xy" are much easier to send by cell-phone. You don't always carry your laptop with you, do you?
So when is everyone going to be powncing on their mobile phone?
The breakthrough of pownce is depending on multiple factors:
as soon as prices for data-sending on mobile systems are in reasonable ranges
an easy way to enter text is important. Therefore a more dense penetration of handhelds (or handies with better text-entry-possibilities) is needed.
network-effects are also an issue. If none of your friends uses pownce, there is no use for you to do so.
Handies like the IPhone are a big step towards overcoming such network-problems. As soon as it's normal for users to use internet-applications on their phone, applications like Pownce will be used by more people.
Do you want to test Pownce?
Write a comment below and tell me what you think about Pownce. What do you like about it, or do you like Twitter more?
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Clive Thompson http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/magazine/15-07/st_thompson
He talks about Twitter, but also points out the keeping in touch with friends and get to know them better.
"For example, when I meet Misha for lunch after not having seen her for a month, I already know the wireframe outline of her life: She was nervous about last week's big presentation, got stuck in a rare spring snowstorm, and became addicted to salt bagels."