Katango is a simple mobile group messaging app built on technology with huge potential. The first Kleiner Perkins sFund investment, Katango’s debut is an eponymous iPhone app that lets users send email, private Facebook wall posts and in-app messages to lists of friend that it automatically that it automatically assembles. It’s this last part that’s so important.
Based on data about a user’s interconnectedness with their friends, Katango instantly and accurately builds what Facebook calls friend lists and Google+ calls Circles. When the company showed me a prototype web interface in early June, it allowed users to export these groups as Facebook friend lists.
Without the ability to send SMS to message recipients that haven’t download the app, it will be hard to compete in mobile messaging with GroupMe and Beluga. However, the algorithm that automatically create friend lists could be be a deciding factor in the battle between Facebook, Google and others for social network supremacy.