When it comes to business social networking products, Convo, created by Scrybe Labs, probably doesn’t have the name recognition (or the funding) of Yammer. But judging from the demonstration I saw recently, it has a compelling product, and it’s announcing some nice additions today.
CEO Faizan Buzdar came by the TechCrunch office last week to demonstrate Convo and its new features. It was the first time I’d seen the product, and even though the TechCrunch team pretty much lives in Yammer, I was impressed. When you first open the website or the desktop app, it looks pretty similar to other enterprise social networks — a stream of conversations and shared content from your coworkers.
What’s really compelling, however, is the quality of the integration between the conversation and the documents (or other content). You can highlight items in presentations, for example, and a thumbnail of what you’ve highlighted will show up in the conversation stream. When someone clicks on that image, they’ll be taken to that exact point in the presentation. You can do the same thing for live websites, which is useful, for example, for tech blogging customers like The Next Web. This isn’t Convo’s only feature, but it’s the one that makes the best case that the service isn’t just “a stream of chitchat,” as Buzdar puts it.
As for the new features, Convo is launching an Android app today. The company already has an iPhone app, and Buzdar says the Android functionality is pretty similar. Both mobile apps are designed around letting people keep up with the conversations in Convo, rather than porting all of the desktop version’s features onto the phone. The next step in the company’s mobile plans is an iPad app, which should come much closer to the desktop experience, except with a touch interface.
Buzdar also plans to launch a group chat feature later this month, where users can start a conversation with select coworkers in a private room. What’s appealing, especially for anyone who’s ever had a “Wait, who said what where?” moment of being overwhelmed by all of a company’s different conversation channels, is the fact that these group conversations can eventually be shared (perhaps with some light editing, if some of the conversation isn’t always polite about your coworkers) with everyone else in the workplace, and they can be marked up like any other piece of content.
We last wrote about Convo about a year ago, when it was known as Convofy.