Like many of you, I use Twitter to stay connected to my friends and family across the country. Currently, I have about 20 members of my immediate and extended family who actively tweet. From siblings to aunts, and even my grandma, we are a family of social media users. But today, I’m suggesting that we ditch Twitter and take our conversations and photo sharing to the group messaging service Beluga.
The foundation of Beluga is that communicating with a group should be fast, easy, and private. Ben Davenport, the CEO of Beluga, told TechCrunch, “Our initial motivation was wanting to eliminate the pain of coordinating plans among groups of people on the move. We wanted to communicate with groups of our actual friends in real-time (and in private) from our phones. We didn’t feel any existing solution really gave us what we wanted, and when we got positive feedback on our idea from talking to friends, we set out to create the best possible app for small private group communication.”
Once you sign up for Beluga, you communicate with your friends in groups called “Pods.” In the case of my family, we would create a ‘Family Pod.’ All messages and photos shared within the Family Pod will only be visible to members of that Pod. You can create an endless number of Pods. Say you want to plan a surprise birthday party for a member of the family. You would create a Pod that includes everyone except for those who cannot keep a secret or the person who will be surprised.
Just like Twitter, Beluga can be accessed from anywhere. iPhone and Android users can download very clean and simple apps. The BlackBerry app is in the works, but the Beluga mobile site does the trick. Beluga also has web access covered. You can access all of your Pods via an easy-to-use and very Twitter-like web interface. Lastly, signing up for Beluga is simple. Facebook bought Beluga in March and all you need to do to sign up is log in with Facebook.
I love Twitter and I know I won’t be ditching it anytime soon. However, when it comes to communicating with my family and close friends, Beluga is the future. So let’s give this a shot. Join me on Beluga and let’s leave our Google Groups and private Twitter accounts where they belong – in the past.