Austria’s mysms wants to bring iMessage-like convenience to everyone’s communications, combining the best of SMS and instant messaging clients. The company’s independent, multi-platform messaging service allows users to send and receive messages on multiple devices, all through a single, cloud-based account.
On an Android phone, mysms works much like Apple’s iMessage, explains CEO Martin Pansy. When a user sends a message using mysms, the app checks if the recipient is also using mysms. If they are, the app uses an IP protocol to send the message for free even if the user is using cell data and not connected to a Wi-Fi signal, he explains. If the recipient isn’t using mysms, the app automatically switches to sending a traditional text message and carrier fees apply. On iOS, mysms functions more like a traditional instant messaging service, since Apple doesn’t allow mysms to replicate the functionality of iMessage.
What sets mysms apart from iMessage and other alternative messaging apps like Voxer and Whatsapp is that mysms users can send and read messages sent through its service from multiple devices: smartphones, tablets, desktop computers and even a Facebook app. This cloud-based approach allows mysms to blend the functionality of SMS and instant messaging into one universal application.
“People want to have just one single inbox for all their text messages and IM services,” explains Pansy. “For example, if you use Facebook instant messenger you can only use that; if you use Whatsapp, you can only send messages to people who have Whatsapp, and Whatsapp is only on mobile, not tablet or desktop. Same is true for standard SMS, which we only receive on mobile. We want to break up this barrier.”
Although the majority of mysms’ userbase currently comes from U.S.-based Android users, the app is growing fast with iOS users and in markets like Germany and Saudi Arabia. The service currently has over 30,000 users, and altogether they’ve downloaded the mysms more than half a million times between its iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Chrome and Facebook apps.
The service currently monetizes through the sale of SMS in Europe, where it can sell messages over IP and offer its users cheaper rates than they would get from their regular providers. In the long term, the company may also go down the freemium route, offering users additional premium features for a small fee.
By the end of the year, mysms is aiming to have 100,000 users, but the goal isn’t to be just another messaging app. In the longer term, Pansy and the mysms team are betting on turning the technology into a communications platform — more Twitter than Voxer.
“Our platform is based on APIs,” says Pansy. “Developers can build applications on top of our infrastructure, it’s something that will interest to us at a later stage, but we’ve been thinking about since the beginning.”