June 9, 2015
We’ve seen plenty of companies and startups alike build out platforms offering an alternative to the traditional SMS message recently, and it’s pretty obvious that this trend isn’t dissipating anytime soon. They’ve all bet big on the notion that people want this kind of alternative messaging platform, and they’re not wrong – they’ve seen great traction on their respective platforms.
James Chen recognized that this is a hot space, which is why he launched Ink Messenger: an app that he says is fundamentally different from any other messaging app currently on the market. It doesn’t have any kind of keyboard, opting rather for a blank space where users can write, scribble, or doodle their messages.
Ink Messenger also lets users curate their own stickers, offering yet another departure from traditional messaging apps. All you have to do is either draw an image or crop an existing one – it’s very similar to imoji’s platform actually.
“You can text ‘I love you’ and include emojis, but this is totally different from something which you personally handcraft from scratch,” says Chen. “Every Ink Message is different.”
To hear Chen tell it, he was inspired to create Ink Messenger by social noticeboards where people communicate individually or in a group in a freestyle form. To him these noticeboards represent a virtual playground teeming with opportunity for creative expression, and he wanted to bring that to the smartphone.
What’s interesting is how Chen brought this to the mobile space. He decided to build and develop Ink Messenger on a purely mobile first basis in 2014 and plans on maintaining that focus as the company continues to grow.
Granted, Ink Messenger is still a smaller stage startup, but Chen isn’t letting that stop him from climbing. He’s put in a great deal of time and effort into understanding the market segment he’s in and how to take the platform further.
“If you take a look at what the major players are going, Apple – via Apple Watch, Google – via the Gmail app, and Line – via Line Brush all have doodling in some form or another,” explains Chen. “Obviously we are not competitors, but we think there’s something to be explored in doodling which we want to delve further into.”
That spirit of exploration is never a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes entrepreneurs and startups so exciting – we’ll be sure to keep you posted on how Chen and Ink Messenger fare as they keep building.
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