Celly has announced a new Android app and service that makes everything from herding your friends through a concert venue to occupying Wall Street as simple as adding your phone number to a private list and sending a text message.
You can use text messages, QR code, email, or web to communicate with the group, which on Celly is called a “cell.” The service was designed to replace irritating group Facebook messages, which may alert you to their existence, but they don’t show up right away on your screen. Celly has a few more advanced features as well, like polling capabilities and timed posts.
Celly has tested the service on teachers, local governments, school clubs and other organizations to help with everything from taking polls to announcing homework assignments. So far, there are 20,000 cells in 50 states.
Occupy Wall Street groups across the country have used the service to organize their protests. “With the relentless barrage of emails, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ notifications we all receive on a daily basis, a simple, short, and concise text message cuts through all the noise of our digital lifestyles,” said Shawn Carrié, member of the Occupy Wall Street’s Tech Ops Working Group in a statement. “What I love so much about Celly is that anyone can set up a cell in literally a minute, anytime, anyplace, easily tell people how to get on it, they sign up in ten seconds, and it’s done – you’re linked. It’s a beautifully simple, lightweight system that works intuitively and effectively.”
A word of advice: your phone company will bill you for your texts as usual, so if you don’t have an unlimited plan, don’t forget to opt out of the group when you’re done.