January 22, 2008 |
Anyone who has been keeping track of all the microblogging services now available to internet users (Twitter, Jaiku, Tumblr, Meemi, and the list goes on), probably knows that although having launched last June, Pownce has been in a beta stage for the past seven months, limiting the number of people who sign up only to those who have been invited.
Now, the latest brainchild of Kevin Rose (creator of Digg), has today evolved from an "invite-only" service into a public one. But, is all of the hype that Pownce has received since its initial launch enough to keep this service on the heels of Twitter, or was it the adoration of the limited-entry invitation process that made it so popular?
With Pownce, users can keep in touch by sending "files, links, events, and messages to people you know and have real conversations about them," as the somewhat redesigned homepage now states. Over the course of its "private" life, Pownce developer Leah Culver has added numerous features, including a mobile version, an API, event notifications, video playback within notes, as well as easy links to a user's other social profiles.
Today's public launch also comes with its own updates. For instance, users can now import quickly build a group of friends on Pownce by importing their friends lists from various other services, such as Digg (of course!), Flickr, Facebook, or even Twitter. The Pownce desktop client (built using Adobe's AIR platform) has also now been updated to version 3, which adds the ability for users to directly respond to friends messages (whereas previously they would have had to visit the website), and the mobile interface has also received some upgrades. The client supports both Windows and Mac OS X, while a Linux version is said to be in the works.
Personally, I use both Pownce and Twitter, and the two hardly even seem like competition with all of the differences between them. I like Twitter for its mobile-focus, but if I need to share more than just a thought, Pownce helps me share just about anything with others. Both services are useful, and as a result, many people may end up being signed up to both, to use each for its specific advantages, though Michael Arrington guesses that "the vast majority of users will only want to be on one of the platforms."
Only about 150,000 users were granted access to Pownce during its private phase, so current users should expect a major influx of new users. Now, anyone can join simply by visiting the Pownce homepage.