Posted in: facebook, meebo, social networking, twitter

Looking for My Ah-Ha Moment with Beluga (Group Messaging)

I spend a large chunk of my day on my phone and away from my computer, running to and from meetings or pacing around the office. I also travel a lot, so I try to make sure I have a set of mobile communications tools I can use to stay on top of everything. Aside from email on my smartphone, there are three major tools I use today and I’ve been trying to get a handle on how I might want to use Beluga. Kim-Mai Cutler from Inside Mobile Apps has a great summary post on Beluga and it’s recent growth.

I think the Beluga app is beautiful and well done, but I can’t seem to figure out where it fits into my mobile needs. Below are the core mobile tools that I use – if you’re a Beluga user and have some good use cases, do let me know:

Mobile IM (Meebo) – I use Meebo for mobile IM. Mobile IM fills an important gap in my communications life – it gives me the flexibility to extend a service I already use heavily (desktop IM) while on the go and makes use of the buddy lists I’ve already created. And it works on Android and iOS, which is key for me.

Text Messaging – Text is my mobile-only channel of choice. It comes right to my phone. It’s fast. And it’s high-quality signal as I only hear from people who have my phone number. Pretty clear and strong use case for being able to message on the go with text messaging.

Situational Group Texting (GroupMe, Fast Society) – I also get the use case for GroupMe and Fast Society. I travel a decent amount and also have groups of people with with whom I want to communicate for brief periods of time. For example, I’m planning to use one of these services when I’m down in Austin for SXSW to keep up with a group of guys I know. I’ve also used both services for weekend trips with friends where everyone wants to keep in touch and allow everyone to see the what’s going on. These aren’t services that I need to use every day, but they do serve an important purpose.

Overall, I feel like my mobile messaging needs are being pretty well met. I’m not sure where Beluga should fit in my mobile messaging needs, but I also didn’t see how GroupMe and Fast Society would fit either until I had that ah-ha moment.