Convore, the real-time, Web-based group message system, just went live in the iTunes App Store. Previously, Convore was available only as a Web-based messaging service and this was one of the things that set it apart - though perhaps not in a good way.
"Basically, it's a contemporary version of IRC," said co-founder Leah Culver, when last we looked at the service. Now, the service has hit iOS and taken this new form of IRC on the road. Will an app change anything? Or does this just mean that all of you Convore addicts (and it seems like there are quite a few already) can get your fix from wherever you are?
If you haven't used Convore yet, it's a bit of an amalgamation of online forum topic structuring with and IRC-esque real-time chat room. Sometimes, something can be so simple that it's elegant and this is one of those times. Convore doesn't cram in too much and relies on one simple thing - our desire to communicate, share thoughts and socialize.
Before we go to far, I'll admit it - I've become a bit hooked myself. Convore brings me back to the days of BBSes and chatrooms. So yes, I am one of these excited folks who can now obsessively check for new messages from wherever. But let's get back to the task at hand - Convore's iPhone app.
So what does the iPhone app do? Just that. It's Convore, but now on your iPhone. You can view and participate in real-time conversations, star messages that you like, send @reply messages to other users, see who's online and search for new groups to join. I think that's about everything I do on the basic website, as well.
Will the app change anything for Convore, other than the level of addictiveness? So far, I'm using it the same, but it certainly means I can take the Convore experience and user-base and take it on the go. All that needs to happen to turn Convore into a mobile group messaging app like most any other now is to use it for that purpose. Create a private group and there you have it.
Convore co-founder Leah Culver said it not only changed what it could be used for, but how she used it as well.
"Before, we were just a website, but as a website and mobile, it makes Convore more of a service," said Culver. "I'll find myself checking it like I check other apps."
Convore has been lumped together with a slew of other group messaging and group chat apps, such as Beluga and GroupMe, but is inherently more like a public chat than a private messaging service. Yobongo has also been thrown in the same category, and while it is also inherently public, it organizes users not according to self-created groups and subtopics, but according to affinities, relevancy and location. A big distinction between Convore and these other services, however, is that Convore is more of a platform play.
For now, Convore is available as an app on the iPhone. There is also a third-party Android app called Convorsation, and the Convore team is encouraging anyone who wants to to use the Convore API and build an app of their own.