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Are You a Member of Fast Society?

October 27, 2010

You’ve arrived at the scene. Entering the packed night club, you elbow your way past the crowd standing in front of the bar. The music is loud and chatter fills up the empty space. Where to find your friends? Some might be primping in the bathroom. Some might be burning up the dance floor. And still others might be sharing cocktails on the outside terrace. At this point, you need to decide:

  • Do I scan the crowd hoping to spot one of them?
  • Do I attempt a few phone calls?
  • Do I send out some texts?

Frustrating, right? But, what if you could send a text to ALL of your friends at once, announcing your arrival? Better yet, send one text with the word CALL and all the members of your group can immediately call in on the same phone line to choose a central location to meet up?

Yes. There is an application that does just that. Actually, a few applications. And members of the group don’t need the application to partake, just a phone and hopefully an all-inclusive texting plan.

The group text option crossed my radar this past week because event members at New York’s CMJ Music Festival used Fast Society at all the events. My immediate thought: the perfect tool for Halloween weekend in NYC. With numerous events, friends frequent many locations, so this could provide a simple way to stay in touch without sending multiple texts to multiple people.

A little background:

In an age where using technology can get cumbersome and longwinded, group texting is simple and available to all cell phone users with texting capabilities. It’s straightforward – just download the application and send a text to your selected group. After members accept and the group is live, members can talk to everyone at once.

Individual applications offer distinctive options, for example, TextPlus and BrighKite include free texts. GroupMe, the frontrunner for group text applications, recently received A-list funding, including Ron Conway‘s SV Angel. But, the New York start-up, Fast Society, is stirring things up with its preferred features, including simple registration, a specific timeframe, easy conference calling and free usage (although standard text message rates do apply).

The expiration date is Fast Society’s golden feature. This application is not to be viewed as another Twitter or Facebook, but as a single usage application at events, conferences or meetings. Understanding that groups differ per function, Fast Society provides an expiration date for the group. So, for Halloween you might join one group for 10 hours, but the next day join a different group to watch Sunday football. A bonus to downloading the application (iPhone only, but slated to have Android and Blackberry by end of 2011) is the GPS capability. Members can check into a location and you can locate these members on the integrated map. Tap your friend’s location on the map and it switches to Google maps and displays directions to that location. I personally love this feature.

Group texting originally targeted the younger population where texting is second nature. But, the application provides equal usage for professionals, adults and families. A few quick examples:

  • Extended family visit Magic Kingdom for the day; text about long lines, lunch spot or show times.
  • Business associates attend a three-day event; text about the speaker, cocktail spot or meeting changes.
  • A group of adults attend the Hershey Car Show; text about favorite cars, auction updates or place to meet up.

The versatility and variety of possible applications leads me to predict that Fast Society or one of the group text applications will eventually be the norm in cases such as group events, business conferences, company meetings, along with, the Super Bowl, Emmy Awards and Dancing With The Stars. This also unlocks a new opportunity for marketers and advertisers.

Any predictions, opinions, experiences? I’d love to hear from you. And perhaps I’ll see you out and about on Saturday night when I’m trying out the Fast Society application – partial to the NYC start-up and NYU purple color 🙂

Happy Halloween.

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