Pulse.to: Mass Mail SMS for Friends
The new social service, Pulse.to, provides friends with a better way to exchange mass text messages. We’ve seen this concept before with Twitter; follow your friends, communicate via SMS, stay connected. What distinguishes Pulse.to is how it encourages people to create groups for different purposes or events, thereby introducing context behind each of the messages in the group. Instead of being bombarded with unrelated messages like Twitter or Facebook, all messages are relevant to the Pulse and its members.
Here’s how it works: one person creates a Pulse and invites their friends to join. Friends accept the invitation by confirming their mobile numbers. Then, each person may send a text message to the group and have it broadcast to people who have opted-in. Pulse.to is offered at no charge.
The service aggregates all messages and displays the most recent ones on the homepage, similar to a Twitter-type site. There are advantages and disadvantages in this case. On the plus side, Pulse.to is a young service, and this live feed may encourage a community. Alternatively, creating a Pulse adds context around messages, but automatically posting messages on the homepage removes that context. And since the service is comprised of close friends communicating, it may be best for the homepage messages to run through a filter first. It’s not that we dislike the live feed in anyway (it definitely kept us engaged), but we will likely see this feature evolve as the community grows.