From the times when MSN Messenger was the number one IM software, to the modern era where IM giants such as Tinychat roam the internet, it is clear that IM, or instant messaging, has manifested a global competition between tech companies who are fighting for the crown of the fastest and most instantaneous message ever.
Lately, this battle has taken a turn towards the mobile application markets. Good examples of this are WhatsApp and BeeJive IM, but lately, a new app has drilled its way up through the bedrock of instant messaging . Jongla is the newcomer in this volatile market, and they are aiming for a serious blast with their cross-platform messaging app.
Helsinki-based Jongla has now put its messaging app on its fourth platform, releasing it now on Windows phone in addition to their iOS, Android, and HTML5 apps. The app is targeted towards 15-24 year olds, and provides free messaging its users and syncs with your phone's address book to find contacts, rather than relying on a user name.
CEO Riku Salminen tells us that launching on Windows Phone has had positive effects within apps across all platforms. "We doubled our daily downloads and registrations and windows was yesterday the most downloaded app. What is really exiting is that the WP users are very active and thank's to viral they push also Android and iOS downloads and registrations up +25%."
Is there room for another mobile messaging player? Jongla, the Helsinki-based messaging app, tells us they're seeing some initial traction as they try to break into the crowded messaging market. The app is available to download on iOS, Android, or on the web or other phones with HTML5, and is targeting the 15-24 market. The messaging features include sending photos, location information, and a notification system that lets you know when the other person is typing or if your message has been received. For registration, Jongla uses your address book to find contacts, rather than having you select a name for yourself.
One angle Jongla is using to appeal to their younger base is "stickers". Users can still use their emoji keyboards, but in addition to that, Jongla offers bigger, more personalized animated icons that serve the same purpose. These include a pandas, boys, girls, and my favorite - a sauna stove - all expressing a range of emotion.
Nowadays I'm a little disappointed in you if you send me normal text message. Data rates are so cheap these days that I hate the concept of spending money on texts when a slightly different pipe on my carrier's network is basically free. As the world began to ask itself "wait, why are we paying for texting?" free(er) services like WhatsApp, Voxer, and Viber lured us in with cheap one-time fees or completely free services.
Perhaps this is just observation bias, but the market seems to have decided WhatsApp will be the standard. It's not fancy, it's not beautiful but it works. But Jongla, a Finnish mobile instant messaging startup, thinks theres still room in this market.
Helsinki-based Jongla announces it has received €1.2 million funding from Tekes and private investors. In August, the company took its mobile messaging apps out of the App Store, Google Play, Get Jar and Windows Marketplace, with a promise that something new and better is coming in October. Right now it appears they're focusing on iOS, Android, and HTML5 for their free instant messaging solution.
Jongla has had a longer history than a lot of startups. When we first covered them first back in 2009, we remarked that they've been around since 2004 and were providing something in the mobile marketing space. In 2011, we covered them as a method to share multimedia files and text messages for feature phones. The service was free, but placed a small ad that was visible to recipients before they opened the message.
We talked about Jongla a couple of years back. The Finnish startup promised to leverage the personal capabilities of the mobile devices and become personal marketing tool. The startup offers smartphone users the ability to send unlimited text messages, videos, images etc across the globe for free. Sounds quite a useful tool for bulk marketing.
The core issues or problem addressed is with the limitations that we have when it comes to the size of the multimedia files we share via SMS or MMS and the quality that we do share is awful by all mean (could be my personal opinion). With Jongla, users are freed of this size and quality limitations with the traditional methods. With Jongla you can share all these files directly to their friends. So this means another application, another setup file, a whole new registration or account association. Well not exactly.
I heard of a new startup yesterday called Jongla. It's a Finnish startup, that promises to take advantage of the mobile platform and its capabilities of marketing personally. The business model is simple, sell the platform to marketers as a media. What is the platform then? It's an application that all mobile phone users can load for free and the catch here for consumers is that with the platform, they are able to send free multimedia messages to each other. The startup itself isn't very new. The company was founded already back in 2004.