Google is entering the group messaging market with its latest launch, an app for iPhone called Disco. As predictable, the app allows users to create groups from their contacts and send them messages, letting any user who is a member of the group then reply to the message.
The app is currently available for the iPhone but not for Android devices which is pretty ironic. The only thing that may explain this is the fact that the app is developed by an autonomous business unit within Google called Slide. Slide was an independent app development house before Google acquired last year for a whopping $182 Million. Slide apparently still works on its own as a separate business unit. When you create a group, a new phone number is also assigned to your group; any messages sent to that number are visible to the whole group. Group members can also be added online at Disco.com and each group can include up to 25 members. Google acquired the Disco.com domain last year for $255,000 at DomainFest.
The app has a neat functionality but doesn’t add much innovation compared to similar apps that already exist in the market place. Time will tell if Disco follows the trend of Gmail and Android when it comes to being a success, or follows other social efforts like Google Wave and Google Buzz into obscurity. The app can be downloaded from iTunes.