Google has recently entered the group messaging space with Disco which is a new website and an iPhone app. The messaging service from Google makes use of the Disco.com domain that they bought last year for $225,000 at Domainfest. The Disco website and app, which are developed by Slide, came up a couple of days ago on the Internet and the Apple App Store respectively. Also, since it is being said that Slide are allowed to run inside the company autonomously as their own startup, the app does not concern the broader social strategy of Google at all.
The app in itself is just bare bones at the moment and doesn’t provide competition to services such as GroupMe, Kik, Beluga, etc. However, it is still in the beta stages and if the iPhone app is anything to go by, it promises to expand well beyond its current shell which only barely provides a way to organize group text messages at the moment. In fact, the website is at this time better than the app in providing the users a simple and coherent way to send text messages to the contact groups on the Internet. New messages are also displayed in real time. New groups can be added and old ones modified and managed. The site also works very well with the voice extension of Chrome.
The app for the iPhone, though, is more primitive in nature. Messages sent from the app appear in an iPhone style SMS window without showing the previous messages sent in the group or the thread. This makes the in-built SMS app of the iPhone more suitable for the purpose than Disco. The most interesting news, however, is that there is no news yet of an Android app from Disco. Hopefully, Google is preparing to release a much more enhanced app than the one available for the iPhone.