Back in more innocent times, our intrepid reporter Adrianne Jeffries went down to SXSW to cover the group messaging wars. A clutch of startups including Beluga, GroupMe, Kik and Fast Society were all battling to be the breakout star. GroupMe did the grilled cheese party, Fast Society countered with the shuttle bus from the airport.
Since then, Beluga was bought by Facebook and GroupMe got acquired by Skype. Kik is still going, but last night Fast Society, always the wildest of the bunch, announced they were shutting down their messaging service and moving on to a new app, Cameo, they will be launching in January.
According to the company’s blog, “While at SXSW this past spring, we saw something really special happening on Fast Society. We captured incredible moments we shared with friends, but had no way to show them off. Over the past several months, a simple idea evolved into a brand new creation…Cameo.”
Hmmm, sounds like Cameo will let folks collect those drunken texts and photos and display them in the timeless way they really deserve. Watch your back Bnter. You too, Instagram.
GigaOm’s Ryan Kim did an interview with Fast Society founder Matthew Rosenberg, who said this new product will be closer to the startup’s original vision. “We originally thought of Fast Society as a way to save moments and capture experiences together but because of the circumstances and the competition, we got caught up in group text messaging.”
So Fast Society got caught up in the fast times of the early stage boom. It happens. The company did score a partnership with MTV, but they were never in denial about the business model. Hell, they even admitted themselves group texting as a business was “bullshit”. When you’re building what amounts to a feature that Apple or Android can turn on at whim, it’s important to know the right people in the world of mergers and acquisitions.