When it launched a year ago, MessageParty was a sort of Yobongo / Chat Roulette, letting users send messages to one another in a given local. But CEO Amanda Payton noticed that folks weren’t talking to one another so much, instead they were recording a sort of narrative of the location. Today the service relaunches in New York as a Geo Blogging platform for users to leave notes, videos and images tagged to a certain place.
In this way MessageParty is kind of like an expanded version of Foursquare’s Tips, and some folks, like Chris Carella, have taken to using it to leave small comments on venues. Another interesting comparison might be the audio check in service Broadcastr, although MessageParty lets users pin a variety of media to a venue.
At the Bedford L, for example, some noted that “Thursday night, 11:30pm. I sauntered onto the platform as the Manhattan-bound train pulled in, no big. As the hordes of hipsters packed onto the train, I couldn’t help but notice one girl anchor herself against the door of the train and roll the most perfect hand-rolled cigarette (natch) while the train screeched and tumbled back and forth all the way to 1st avenue. Talent. Williamsburg-style.”
There are no game mechanics at work here, so the service is going to need a critical mass of users in order to make itself the kind of app people would open on a daily basis. That, or they could try and pull localized content from other sources like Foursquare and Flickr so that items with the same geo-tag all get nested in the stream of info associated with a place on MessageParty.
“The decision to keep game mechanics out was intentional,” said Peyton. “I think that synchronous interaction is really hard on mobile, especially with strangers. We want to spotlight great placed-based content.”