Pownce is a new social messaging application competing micromessage to micromessage with the likes of Twitter and Jaiku. Still in closed beta, Pownce has generously shared some of what they've learned so far. Like going to a barrel tasting of a young wine and then tasting the same wine after some aging, I think what will be really interesting is to follow Pownce and compare the Pownce of today with the Pownce of tomorrow, after a few years spent in the barrel. What lessons lie in wait for Pownce as they grow?
- Short messaging, invites for events, links, file sharing (you can attach mp3s to messages, for example).
- You can limit usage to a specific subset of friends and friends can be grouped in sets. So you can send your mp3 to a specific group of friends.
- It does not have an SMS gateway, IM gateway, or an API.
- Make it easy to create and destroy relationships.
- Friend relationships are the most important information to display correctly because people really care about it.
- Friends in the online world have real-world effects.
- You must get an invite from someone on already on Pownce.
- Invites are limited to their data center's ability to keep up with the added load. Blindly uploading address books can bring on new users exponentially. Limiting that unnatural growth is a good idea.
- Think about technology choices.
- Do a lot with a little.
- Be kind to your database.
- Expect anything.
- Let them know what you are working on and about new features and bug fixes.
- Respond personally to individual bug creators.