Simple blogging platform Posterous has always been about email and co-founders Sachin Agarwal and Garry Tan have taken the idea of an email list one step further and developed Posterous Groups. Groups, an easier way to hold group discussion, hops on Mark Zuckerberg’s social bus and proves that its only a matter of time before all blogging platforms become even more social. “This came out of our frustration with Yahoo Groups and Google Groups” said Posterous Marketing Manager Rich Pearson, explaining the company’s attempts to develop “the best email list groups product possible.”
Like all things Posterous, the execution is simple. To set up a group simply send an email to “firstname.lastname@example.org” with the group name as the subject line and the rest is done by Posterous. To post to the group, send an email to “email@example.com.” The best part is you don’t actually need a Posterous account to be part of a group.
Once in a group, participants have a two column view, where they can experience threaded conversations and upload media attachments. The group moderator can choose whether people are contributors or subscribers and whether the group is public or private. Again the simplicity of Posterous is evident here, as the Groups function is filled with nifty tricks like being able to post a YouTube URL and have it turn into an inline video. Autopost social sharing on services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube is also available on Groups.
Pearson and Agarwal have been beta-testing the product with 1200 users for about a week and the feedback has been mostly positive, with one user calling it, “Blogging meets discussion forums meets commenting.” As Pearson points out, the ideal use case is people who are still in college (“Anyone who is in school is just a part of a ton of email lists”) so it might be prudent to have deeper email and chat integration in a further iteration.
Posterous, which is currently funded at $5.14 million, is also launching their extremely simple mobile app in the Android Marketplace today. The app includes features like social auto-posting, geo-tagging and options to take and upload video and photo. You can find the app in the Android marketplace by searching for “Posterous.”