College students now have their own Yammer . Last week, Wiggio came out of beta with a new look and a slew of group messaging and group management features. For each private group that you create, Wiggio provides a Twitter-like message stream from all the group members. But it also includes a slew of other features such as a shared calendar, mass text and voice messaging, file-sharing (including online docs and spreadheets), polling, and more.
Many of these features can be found in other products such as Yammer, Basecamp, WizeHive, and Producteev. But Wiggio is a solid addition to the group messaging family, and it is already gaining some traction by targeting college students and their particular group dynamics (academic, extracurricular, social, committees, sports teams, music/dance, religious, charity, etc.). Wiggio, which has been in closed beta for a year, already has 45,000 users, about 80 percent of which are college students and faculty members.
The site was created in January, 2008 by Dana Lampert, who was then a senior at Cornell. His two co-founders are Rob and Derek Doyle, sons of Bob Doyle, the creator of MacPublisher (the first desktop publishing program) and the 1970s electronic game Merlin. The elder Doyle is an adviser and investor in Wiggio, and houses the four-person startup in his lab a block away from Harvard. Wiggio raised $450,000 in an angel round last August.
The site offers following features:
- Shared calendar (with SMS reminders)
- Folder (includes group editing of docs and spreadsheets, photo sharing, video)
- Mass text and voice messaging
- Free conference calling and web meetings
Groups can be created by simply adding people’s email. They don’t even have to sign up. Wiggio hooks into existing text messaging and email services. You can email an entire group, take group polls, import calendars, share documents, links, photos, videos, and other files. Wiggio uses Zoho and Scribd for shared document viewing and editing, and has partnered with Rondee for the teleconferencing. All the other features were developed in-house.
Lampert has several ideas for making money, including display ads targeted by group type and university, SMS ads, and subscriptions for additional customization and security features.
Here are a couple intro videos and screenshots: