Text-messaging apps have brought refreshing novelties to the smartphone world, such as (free) group messaging and easily sharing photos, videos or emoticons. However, most apps, such as the popular WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage, are based on the same concept of a chronological influx of messages.
However, Israeli startup Hoozin has launched a social group-messaging app that aims to change the common approach. Moreover, the company has announced that it has completed an initial funding round of $750,000 from Venture Plus’ Explorer Group and Yoel Cheschin’s 2B Angels. Hoozin, founded earlier this year by Arnon Yosef, Udi Zohar and Omri Levi, aims to change the way people interact using smartphones and adapt it so that it simulated the way interactions between groups of people happen in real life.
Upon launching the app, Hoozin has announced collaboration with Mentos Israel, wihin which branded features are used. Within the collaboration, the app will include a feature called “hooz’it”, which contains roulette-based raffles between group members. This collaboration is the first test for the company’s business-model, which is based on a platform that integrates branded features as marketable media.
The entrepreneurs explain that conversations within the application, currently available in Israel for iOS and Android devices, are different than the usual message-list display: “All existing social apps are based on the same interface – an endless list of messages, a structure entirely different from how we are used to communicate on a day-to-day basis. Hoozin, however, displays users as if sitting around a table, where messages are ‘stacked’ much like playing cards, considering the arrangement of the users and message chronology”, say the entrepreneurs on press release that accompanied the launch.
In addition, the company has developed features that are meant to overcome current known messaging app issues, including indication for which of the users in the group is currently online, the ability to see who is typing in real time, choosing which members of the group will receive each message and sending private messages within the group. In the future, the company plans to offer users features such as surveys, group games and conference calls.
Hoozin was founded in 2012 and employs six workers. The Israeli launch is the company’s first, but in the future, the service will be available in other countries as well.
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Photo by Hoozin