Imsy : A Cross platform messaging app that nicely mixes messaging and content

Imsy is a cross platform messaging app that nicely mixes messaging and content. The startup, stared by founders of ITfinity (which was acquired for $12mn by OnMobile) offers several features that makes it much more interesting than other messaging clients in the market. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say that Imsy starts where WhatsAppp ends – i.e. Imsy’s power lies in its focus on APIs and importantly, contextual understanding of messages.

Apart from regular messaging app features (like real-time chat with friends; add emoticons), Imsy offers following features:imsy

a) Unlimited groups.
Almost all other messaging apps support groups of only up to 10 members. Imsy currently has hundreds of groups of over 40 – 50 members and to me, an ideal case is of schools using a service like this to alert parents of any instant updates.
b) Context. Context and Context.
When you type a message, like – Happy Birthday, I love you, Missing you, etc, Imsy automatically suggests cute pictures (contextually related) that you can attach to the message. This also opens up monetization opportunity for company to plug-in partner products.
c) Social/Content bots.
Imsy’s real power lies in its APIs and the company has used its APIs to create bots. For example, ‘Birthday Reminder’ bot will send reminds of birthdays of your Facebook friends (Hemant, cofounder of Imsy shares that the company has delivered over 10 million Birthday reminders to Imsy users over the last 6 months. Also, one in every two new user sign-ups on Imsy opts in on the Birthday reminders bot). Other bots include Cricket scores, Olympic updates, Calvin & Hobbes, Dilbert & Quote of the Day bots etc.
d) Local language support
Imsy enables messaging in all Indian and international languages. In fact, over 10% of the messages in Imsy are in Arabic language. The company offers news alerts in Hindi, Thai, Bahasa, Persian and Arabic languages, and plans to introduce in many more languages soon.imsy_app_screen
In terms of userbase, Imsy has about 350,000 active users across iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Symbian, Blackberry and Nokia S40 platforms. The company is solely focused on building consumer facing free app service (i.e. no B2B plans in near future) and will work with several publishers and developers to offer bots on the service. Monetization model includes freemium offering for certain services (in-app purchase) and the company has also applied for Ims->SMS messaging, which will help them go beyond the smartphones.

Future plans include implementing Community Group Messaging – where users can create their own communities and enroll thousands of members for instant communication and the company also plans to expand its developer program to several publishers.

What’s really interesting about Imsy is its focus on creating a ‘bot store’, which makes the platform more meaningful (not just for users, but also for app developers). Plus, given how content is being consumed on devices (Report: 40% of mobile internet users in India ditch newspapers for consuming content on smartphones), this surely makes Imsy, the top contender for your mobile home screen.

Do give Imsy (download link) a spin and share your comments.

[This startup coverage is part of Pluggd.in’s 65 startup special series, which is supported by Nexus Venture Partners. If you are a product startup, submit your details here.]

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