Group chat sucks.
Maybe not on an enterprise level. You can’t walk into a startup office without hearing that beautiful bubble-pop noise of a Slack notification. But even though there are tons of messenger apps that allow from group chat — from Facebook all the way to iMessage — none of them were actually made for personal group chat.
The new app takes its cue from newer social media and the chat rooms of the past.
All chats are named with a hashtag that is relevant to the conversation. Sometimes you have ongoing group chats with two or three (or ten) of your friends while other group chats are created for a specific purpose or project, like a party.
This is where notifications become important. Oftentimes group chats can become diluted after users are pinged repeatedly with messages that aren’t relevant to them.
When users send messages on Bindle, they arrive to everyone in the group chat without a notification. But if someone @mentions you in a chat, you are notified on the homescreen and can dive right in. What’s more, Bindle lets you /whisper to someone in a group chat, notifying them and showing the secret message only to the specified recipient. It still shows up directly in the sender and recipient’s feed, but it never existed to the rest of the users in the group.
There’s something thrilling about it, but then again, I have yet to try to /whisper while inebriated, which I’m certain will be responsible for many a broken friendship.
Still, Bindle as a group messenger finds a way of using these old-school commands and behaviors in a more advanced ecosystem. For example, users have gif search directly within the chat, as well as the option to send stickers and emojis.
Users don’t need to use their phone numbers to sign up, but can rather just join the conversation with a username. And because it’s a cross platform app (on both iOS and Android), that one annoying friend who is on the other platform will stop begging you to join Facebook Messenger.
Though Bindle isn’t being entirely forthcoming about future monetization plans (I got the standard “We’re focused on growth” speech), the company did say that it is taking cues from bigger messaging players like Snapchat, specifically mentioning SnapCash, and that Bindle would likely stay away from advertising. Bindle is entirely bootstrapped.
You can find Bindle in the App Store or Google Play.