Is the revamped LiveShare app the best SMS-killer ever?
April 19, 2012 by Terence LEE
That’s because most of my peers are using it, and being a rather late adopter of the iPhone, I had no choice but to purchase the app.
No doubt, Whatsapp is the dominant cross-platform instant messaging app out in the market right now. Its ubiquity is disrupting the telecoms industry by replacing SMS as the primary text messaging platform.
Previously more of a photo sharing and streaming app, LiveShare now brands itself as a service that allows “beautiful conversations with individual friends or among groups.”
Unlike Whatapp, which is built primarily for text, LiveShare is designed from the ground up to be visual.
When I shared a picture of a nice plate of sashimi I had recently, my friends can see it in the conversation view immediately. They won’t need to download it manually like in Whatsapp.
The picture also takes up almost the entire screen real estate, and I can even comment on it or share the photo on Facebook.
If Whatsapp were to be invented today, it might actually look something like LiveShare.
I think the app has been able to smartly differentiate itself from its competitors. But it has an uphill climb to reach even a fraction of the billion or so messages Whatsapp users send daily.
Part of its strategy is to ensure that non-users can receive and even reply to the messages sent by LiveShare users. Photos that I put up on LiveShare can also be posted on Facebook.
I can also start conversations with non-LiveShare users. What happens is that they’ll receive an email linking them to the LiveShare web app where they can drag and drop photos or type in their replies. My friends can even respond to me simply by replying to the email.
The rationale for this, I assume, is to give people a reason to use LiveShare even though their friends are not.
But I do have one gripe with the app: The loading and transition between conversations should be made even faster. The loading screen is unnecessary in my opinion, and for an app that aspires to be a hub of communications for smartphone users, every millisecond of lag must be shaved off.
Perhaps its just because I’m using an iPhone 4 rather than 4S.
To answer the question of whether it’s the best: It needs to get the sort of user traction approaching that of Whatsapp to enter into the conversation. But with its strong feature set, it has the potential of getting there.
Revamping the app was certainly a surprising move, given how their previous version was enjoying 4.2 million active users a month.
Let’s hope they know what they’re doing.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE