If Twitter, Facebook, email and traditional forums just don’t meet your needs, then a new combination of all of these might suit your fancy. Micromobs, a group messaging application that launched into public beta yesterday, approaches group communication in a way that lets users organize what they read and what they write according to social groups and topical categorization.
In many ways, Micromobs takes the best parts of other popular services and serves up a new and easy way to communicate.
According to the company, which was founded by Startup Roots creators Ajay Kamat and Himani Amoli, “Micromobs is designed to fill the gap for a simple, stand alone group application that connects people with the groups they communicate with the most”.
For those who’ve become accustomed to the stream of activity seen in Facebook, Friendfeed, Twitter and any number of other Web applications, the format will feel familiar. Everything occurs in a threaded, microblog-style activity stream. The primary difference, however, is that Micromobs starts by organizing what you say and what you read according to social stratification, or “mobs”. These mobs can be public or private and can be organized around its members or even simply a topic. Anyone can create a mob, and, if set as private, they can designate who can participate in that mob.
If you’re looking for yet another place to blast out status updates or have ping.fm connect to, this is not it. Micromobs is decidedly about communicating, not shouting your message to the masses.
While it appears that Micromobs intends to fill a niche as a utilitarian communication tool, its users are already using it as a way to organize conversations in a familiar format around topics such as the TV show LOST or “Bay Area Foodies”.
As opposed to Facebook or Twitter, the default here is not to blast your message at everyone on the site, but to send specific messages to specific mobs. Unlike email, messages are not isolated but instead kept together on that mob’s individual page, much like a Google Group. Micromobs incorporates that forum-feel by allowing discussions to assemble around topics, not just social strata.
The site is currently only available on the Web, but Kamat told us that they are working on mobile and SMS versions of the site, which they look to release once the site continues to grow.