Bindle has announced the launch of its revamped group chat app on iOS and Android devices. Bindle 2.0 is a “completely rebuilt” version of the app, which allows users to chat with friends or strangers about specific topics by searching for chat threads using hashtags. Like an online forum, users search for topics they’re interested in, and join any associated chats, sharing their own thoughts and opinions with like-minded individuals.
The Bindle app allows any user to create a new chat, using as specific or as vague a hashtag as they’d like. A general #Gaming thread, for instance, gives users a chance to chat about games on any platform, while a #PS4 thread would narrow down the topic to one console. Since chats are created by users, rather than the app, a group of friends can create their own thread for private conversations using a hashtag only they would think of (say, #JanesSurpriseParty).
Once users find a chat they’d like to enter, they must “Knock,” or request access to the chat. An existing member then has 24 hours to accept the new user, to keep things orderly. Chats allow for an unlimited number of participants.
This new version of Bindle features shortcuts for easier communication, including the ability to “@” mention a particular user, “whisper” a private message to a specific recipient, and add “emotes” for non-text items (like stickers and GIFs). Since it’s possible for users to have many simultaneously active chats, Bindle color-codes each chat in relation to the type of conversation. For instance, a chat is marked blue when the user as an “@” message, while a purple chat indicates a private message.
In a statement, Bindle founder and CEO, Chris Toy, commented on the app’s goals:
Messaging is already replacing traditional social networking — it’s lighter, faster, and gets to the heart of communication. I created Bindle because I didn’t see any messaging apps truly designed to help us communicate in groups on our mobile device, which is why annoying group texts and email chains are still so common. We’ve combined insights from the early web, modern ‘always-connected’ necessities, and pain points of today’s large-but-fragmented personal networks to create the most shareable, scalable and flexible group chat tool available.
Bindle is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Uses are not required to share their phone number upon signup; instead, the app utilizes a traditional email / password account creation system.