App.net, the Twitter-clone turned app services turned file sharing turned something only a developer can understand…. now has released something that should be a huge hit. They call it Broadcast.
In the announcement post Dalton Caldwell explains what a Broadcast is:
A Broadcast is a new type of message that is always received as a push notification. A user only receives a Broadcast when they have explicitly subscribed to a Broadcast Channel.
Put another way, whenever you post to App.net via a Broadcast Channel a rich notification, capable of text, images, and links, will be sent to every single subscribers phone.
Who is it for? Caldwell goes on to list eight use cases. In reality there are hundreds. I think our team would like to use it to alert us if Barley goes down. Or, perhaps for VIP customer service requests. Sure, we could use SMS alerts but App.net’s Broadcast feature allows for rich notifications.
Some other uses cases, purely off the top of my head, would be large companies sending important company-wide notifications, vacation directors notifying their entire group of the next location (remember, Broadcasts allows for geolocation features), schools notifying parents of an emergency… the list goes on and on and on.
Why do I think this will be a hit for App.net? Because, for the first time since the debut of App.net, this is something that every single person can understand the value of. There are a million use cases. And people would be willing to pay for it. And, it needs to work well at scale and that is exactly what the App.net team is good at.