Heysan (CNET review) is a free mobile instant-messaging service that connects to major IM networks, including Windows Live Messenger (previously MSN), Yahoo Messenger, AIM, ICQ, and Google Talk. The wholly Web-based service is roughly modeled on Meebo, with its single buddy list and tabbed conversations. Heysan is ad-supported.
It's the year of social networks wrought with the mobile experience in mind. I spoke to five companies peddling their handheld experience as The Next Big Thing; here's how they stack up.
Bluepulse is the most advanced of the bunch, with a messaging service core and a profile, activity feed, and friend-of-a-friend discovery as other central activities. Messaging is easy. The single in-box shows status updates, all message types, and friend requests, and filters within this section highlight new messages and allow search.
You can post photos and 3G videos, but click-to-call is still under development. I dig the automatic spell check and basic grammar correction, but wish the messaging had a drop-down menu or predictive text to quickly choose from among friends. Unlike others, Bluepulse is purely mobile, operating on a slim and simple WAP site that never looks right from the desktop.
Based out of the U.K., Trutap has much more momentum abroad--in the U.S. the closed beta only works on AT&T and limits all-in-one IM to MSN, Yahoo, AIM, and ICQ services. Trutap is more a mobile facilitator than pure mobile social network in that photos and posts push to partner sites--Blogger, LiveJournal, Flickr, and so on. Trutap friends can also chat in-network.… Read more
I've been experimenting with the new nanoblog platform, Utterz. It's being compared to Twitter (and Pownce and Jaiku), although it has much better mobile multimedia support. But it's really better used as a utility for getting media--voice, pictures, and video--from your mobile phone to your existing social network or blog pages.
I've heard this idea before (see mEgo): You embed x widget into your pages on all the social networks you use, then to update them all, all you have to do is send your content into the widget. And there are certainly other mobile blogging platforms: see 3Guppies and Twango.
Utterz' special power is the way it takes media from your mobile and intelligently combines it as it sends it to the platform. Also, you don't need a mobile Web browser to publish on the Utterz platform. For example, if you send a cameraphone image via MMS into the system, and then a few minutes later dial the Utterz number and speak a message, those two items will, by default, get combined into one post, presumably because you're most likely describing the photo you just took.
In addition to embedding posts in a widget, Utterz items can be posts unto themselves. You can easily connect your account to mainstream blogging platforms such as Blogger, LiveJournal, and Wordpress.
I like Utterz as a conduit for getting audio/video media from a mobile phone to a blog or social network page. Utterz also has a social network of its own: Like Twitter and other nanoblog systems, you can set up a group of friends on the site, then track the posts from your friends. I wonder if the world needs yet another Twitter-alike, no matter how good its media chops. But if your friends aren't on an existing nanoblog network, well, now everyone in your group has yet another choice.
Utterz is accessible from a mobile phone via its voice and dialpad interface. It will play voice Utterz and convert text Utterz to speech if you dial up the service to find what people are posting. However, there's as yet no good way to access Utterz from a mobile browser; the site is designed for full-size screens.
You can also get Utterz as a Facebook app, but its integration isn't fully cooked yet; you have to log in to Utterz from within your already-logged-in Facebook sessions. There are other annoyances in the product, but nothing unfixable. There's also no API for Utterz yet, but I'm told it is forthcoming.
The product makes money whenever you call the service to leave a voice Utter: It's not a free call, and Utterz gets a slice of the revenue.
Check out my Utterz widget after the jump.