Over the weekend I spoke to Martin Wells, the founder and CEO of a startup from Sydney, Australia called Tangler. I had a look at the application they have been developing for the last 18 months now which is an instant messaging and communication app that is based around a concept they call ‘instant grouping’.
Instant grouping means that any number of people can take part in conversations around topics of interest they find on the web or in other applications. The application allows users to subscribe to a group – which can then be linked to any number of blogs, websites, music files (in iTunes or other apps), a point on a map or anything else. The conversations are persistent so you don’t need to be there when other people are and the desktop application will notify you when something new happens in a group.
This alleviates the problem some have seen at the moment with instant messaging applications tied to blogs by making each group an actual destination where users can make comments and have conversations. Tangler does a good job of uniting people around a common interest and letting them take part in conversations. This is where instant messaging has been heading for a while now, but Tangler looks to have gotten it right.
The guys have been spending some time in the valley recently while they prepare the company and the product for a public launch. Tangler has been privately funded to date but Martin has indicated they have investment interest from the USA at the moment which they are considering.
Tangler are planning to open up the private beta in 2 months – in the interim you can register your interest in their product on their website. I am eagerly awaiting the launch since I have seen many attempts at trying to make communication around a topic or website on the web easier and it seems that these guys are approaching it the right way and doing it well.