beluga

  • Supplanted By Facebook Messenger, Beluga Will Stop Swimming On November 11

    Supplanted By Facebook Messenger, Beluga Will Stop Swimming On November 11

    Beluga, the slick group messaging app that Facebook acquired back in March, is shutting down. In a post on Beluga’s blog, the company’s original team of three writes that, beginning November 11, you’ll no longer be able to send messages (though you’ll still be able to access old messages until December 15, at which point they’ll all be deleted). If you’d like… Read More

  • When Facebook Captured Beluga, They May Have Harpooned It In The Head

    When Facebook Captured Beluga, They May Have Harpooned It In The Head

    When Facebook acquired Beluga this past March, it was an interesting deal for them. Interesting, because they previously had only done deals for talent. But this deal, they told us, was for both talent and assets. In other words, they were also interested in the technology behind Beluga. More importantly, the plan was to keep Beluga running. And they have. Sort of. Over the past several… Read More

  • Mobile Messaging March Madness

    On Thursday, I used Yobongo all day, which helped me find a new lunch spot, run into an old friend, and meet a Yobongo co-founder. That afternoon, I thought it would be a good time to write about the new group and mobile messaging wars for TechCrunch. A few hours later, Color Labs launched, to put it mildly. And, as I was editing this post on Friday night, Disco appeared, the new… Read More

  • A Group Messaging Roundup To Help You Stay In Touch At SXSW

    By now you’ve doubtless heard of the many group messaging startups looking to help multiple people keep in touch with each other — there’s been endless buzz about how these will likely be some of the breakout stars of SXSW. However, most of these companies do far more than just send texts to multiple people: some of them offer location sharing, conference calls, and… Read More

  • GroupMe Squeezes Out A "2.1 More Thing" Release Before SXSW

    GroupMe Squeezes Out A "2.1 More Thing" Release Before SXSW

    Startups gearing up for the SXSW are shining up their apps and hoping to Wow the crowds of iPhone-toting hipsters by releasing major upgrades in advance of the Austin conference. Among group texting apps alone, in the past week we’ve seen new releases from GroupMe, Fast Society, Beluga, and others. Everyone’s put their best face forward and now the race is on to see which one… Read More

  • Post-Facebook Deal, Beluga Gets A Final SXSW Tune-Up

    Immediately following their launch a few months ago, I noted that Beluga was my group messaging app of choice. I didn’t expect that to change leading up to SXSW — then Facebook stepped in and bought the service. When I first heard about it (when we broke the story), my heart sank a bit — another Facebook acquisition casualty, I thought. But Facebook immediately started… Read More

  • Fast Society Is Ready To Party At SXSW (Exclusive Demo Video)

    Fast Society Is Ready To Party At SXSW (Exclusive Demo Video)

    If you are a group texting startup worth your salt, you’ve got to have a new app ready for the upcoming SXSW conference in Austin. GroupMe, Beluga (which was just bought by Facebook), Kik, TextPlus, and offshoots like Yobongo will all be strutting their stuff. Not to be outdone, Fast Society just pushed out a completely revamped iPhone app and an Android app is coming out today as… Read More

  • The iPad2, Motorola Xoom, and Group Texting

    OMG/JK: A Kiss For iPad 2, A Slap For Xoom

    It’s war! This week, I went to the unveiling of the iPad 2 and got some hands-on time with the device afterwards. Meanwhile, Jason bought a Xoom and has been extensively testing it out. The consensus? iPad 2: Good. Xoom: Bad. At least for now. I haven’t extensively played with iPad 2 yet, and Google is undoubtedly going to patch the Xoom. But still, first impressions are key. Jason… Read More

  • Foursquare Dennis Crowley Rapid Fire Questions

    (Founder Stories) Foursquare's Dennis Crowley: "Stop Sketching, Start Building"

    All this week, we’ve been running segments of our Founder Stories interview with Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley (see links at bottom for past episodes, or watch the whole 45 minute interview below). In this final episode (video above), Crowley answers some rapid fire questions from host Chris Dixon. What was his best business decision ever? What does he like least about being a CEO? … Read More

  • Facebook Acquires Group Messaging Service Beluga In A Talent AND Technology Deal

    Facebook Acquires Group Messaging Service Beluga In A Talent AND Technology Deal

    Facebook has just acquired group messaging service Beluga, we’ve learned. Here’s what we know: Facebook has acquired both the product and the team, and the plan is apparently to keep the service open for now. With past acquisitions, Facebook has only acquired companies for their talent. But this time it’s apparently a bit different, as they’re interested in both the… Read More

  • GroupMe Gives Push Notifications A Big Hug, Also Maps And Foursquare Check-ins

    GroupMe Gives Push Notifications A Big Hug, Also Maps And Foursquare Check-ins

    Well, well, looky here. GroupMe just got a lot app-friendlier. The group texting app is pushing out a massive new update today for both the iPhone and Android that supports push notifications as the default messaging option instead of costly SMS, maps, inline photos in chats, better Foursquare integration, and contact syncing with Twitter, Facebook, and email. Up until now, the GroupMe app… Read More

  • Yobongo Will Be In The Running For The Addictive App At This Year's SXSW

    A month ago, we detailed a new location-based realtime chat service called Yobongo. At the time, co-founder Caleb Elston didn’t want us to show shots of the app in action because it was still a work-in-progress. But now he’s finally comfortable enough with everything that he’s asking beta testers to do just that. And he should be, as the app both looks great and needs to… Read More

  • Fast Society: Not Your Mother's Group Messaging App (TCTV)

    When a good idea comes along, often what you see are multiple startups pop up who were all working on it independently but launch around the same time. Look at Foursquare and Gowalla in geo-location apps or Instagram, PicPlz, and Path in geo-photo apps. Right now, a lot of the action seems to be in group messaging, with Groupme, Beluga, and Fast Society all vying for mobile group supremacy. Read More

  • Beluga: I May Have Finally Found My Group Messaging White Whale

    Beluga: I May Have Finally Found My Group Messaging White Whale

    Group messaging has been something that has been pretty hot for a while now. In fact, it’s gotten so hot that products from other hot spaces are starting to pivot towards it — see: Brightkite. But despite the hotness, I’ve yet to find one of these apps that really hooks me. But a new entry in the space, Beluga, may just be my elusive white whale. As first covered yesterday… Read More