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 weeks… → Read More
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 will become the… → Read More
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 saying that this deal… → Read More
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 well.
I… → Read More
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 and I discuss… → Read More
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? Who are his… → Read More
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 talent and the technology… → Read More
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 was… → Read More
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 be ready to go for the… → Read More
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
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.