In the US, sending SMS messages can get spendy. In the rest of the world, however, texting costs can be downright oppressive. As such, finding cheaper ways to send SMS messages has a broad appeal - especially with the younger, and often cash-strapped, set.
With the release of Utterli Free Group Texting, Utterli - formerly known as Utterz - is hoping to tap into that market, offering the ability to send SMS messages to friends - and groups of friends - for free from within Facebook or Bebo. And, free is a very good price.
"There is this massive need - particularly with kids - who are on fixed rate plans where they have a limited amount of texting per month," said Aaron Burcell, Chief Marketing Officer at Utterli. "Texting is really expensive."
For our Facebook- and MySpace-centric US readers, the question, "Why Bebo?" is likely to jump to mind, given that Bebo doesn't often come up in conversation. However, in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand - places where SMS rates can be restrictive - Bebo has a large market share. This makes Bebo a perfect candidate for this type of service. It's safe to assume that Utterli's ability to reduce the cost of SMS for these users will be met with broad acceptance.
The fact that Utterli is available on multiple platforms provides a fringe benefit, as well: cross-platform messaging. With Utterli, users on Facebook can send short messages to their friends on Bebo without having to establish a Bebo profile. And vice versa. Users already on the Utterli platform have the ability to send and receive messages with Facebook and Bebo users, too.
Another benefit of the new service? The ability to send SMS text across oceans. Which, to date, hasn't been as easy as it sounds without a client application.
"This is filling a need for Web-to-phone and phone-to-Web group messaging - without a client," said Burcell. "No one else is really doing this right now."
Our take? Texting is a way of life for many. If Utterli can find a way to make sending and receiving SMS messages easy, cheap, and accessible, it is safe to assume that they will gain a following.
To test drive the app, visit Utterli's Social Apps and install it on your preferred platform.