Messaging is without a doubt one of the most important areas of the tech industry that has seen a major revolution in the age of mobile. With the rise of apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Slack, Facebook Messenger, and so many others, it’s clear that messaging has become one of the main forms of communication available. With younger users, the change is even more pronounced as messaging has replaced calls as the main form of communication for many users.
On top of the heavy fragmentation in the messaging space itself is the weird role social apps are playing in pulling text communication in multiple directions at once. Just look at the effect of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. While these platforms are ostensibly designed to share images, they are often used in the same way as messaging apps to share short bite sized chunks of conversation. Factor in the role of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and there are almost endless ways to send a message to one of your friends.
That isn’t to say that voice calls and other types of conversation have faded into obscurity. Many of these platforms offer support for voice calls, while others focus on video chat. An example of one company that is dividing its support for these features into two apps is Apple, which offers both iMessage and Facetime to handle both text and voice/video calls.
So with so many apps either trying to tackle small parts of the social/messaging problem or the leading social platforms like Facebook breaking up their platform into smaller parts a la Facebook Messenger, it’s refreshing to see that some companies are trying to unify the communication experience into one app. A great example of this is ringID.
What is the app and how does is try to solve the fragmentation problem? ringID is designed to bring all of your social and messaging experiences into into one platform. The app features all of the things you might expect from a social app or messenger, all blended together into a unified experience.
The app includes things that individual apps have tried to ride to success such as secret chat to keep your conversations private, VoIP calling for when you want to have an old fashioned conversation, message retrieval in case you need to go back and delete a message you regret sending, and fun ways to brighten up your text messages with things like stickers and word art.
Of course, it needs to be said that ringID is swimming in the very deep end of the pool. There are already many deeply entrenched messaging and social platforms, and ringID will have to fight against the lock-in effect those platforms are banking on. However, the app is taking an intriguing approach, trying to build a robust and feature rich platform that is built for mobile. If it can build a successful following the app could change the way many users think about social communication.