March 18, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Depending on your perspective, Fast Society has a strong advantage or disadvantage in this app battle. Rather than rely on in-app data, it uses SMS that counts towards your monthly text message plan. However, this can be good for those times that you need to communicate with groups who don’t have one of these messaging apps installed.
Fast Society uses “Teams” that automatically delete in one hour, day, week, or last until you decide to end the conversation. Society members send group text messages, share location or photos, and can even start a conference call. So if a group decides where to go for the evening, they can quickly reach each other, mesh circles of friends, and meet up along their bar crawl or wrap-up at Waffle House.
Fast Society can be a little slow at times – when testing, it took anywhere from 15 seconds to 1 minute to arrive to contacts – but it has the tools to be great for people looking to reach anyone with access to a data plan rather than rely on an app.
I can see GroupMe working for business team members trying to navigate a conference or just a group of friends looking to communicate in a timely manner. In-app messages appear within seconds, and GroupMe supports conference calls. The app also supports sharing photos or nearby locations; when you add a message, GroupMe automatically brings-up your actual GPS coordinates or nearby Foursquare venues and lets you decide to send that location to contacts.
GroupMe is another app that can extend its reach through SMS, but it’s best to use the in-app messenger option. GroupMe is one of the most comprehensive options of messaging apps because it works with SMS or through apps on Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone devices. For people who place cross-platform compatibility above all else, GroupMe is probably the way to go.