Everyone has been in that situation — stuck in a back-and-forth texting war with a friend deciding where to meet for coffee or lunch. It can be a bit of a hassle.
Echoecho is trying to make that process a little easier by showing where nearby friends are on a map and suggesting nearby locations to meet. The company unveiled its iPhone application at the Launch Conference in San Francisco today.
When one Echoecho user finds a nearby person they want to meet, they can send them a message through the app. They can text message their friends or call them directly from the application just by touching them once or twice. The two users then share each other’s locations through the application and determine where to meet from there. Echoecho uses the phone’s existing address book contacts to build a social network of sorts within the application.
If the other person has the application, they get a push notification that takes them to a map and shows what storefronts are nearby. If they don’t have the application, Echoecho sends the other person a text message that has a link to download the application.
The application is already on the Apple app store, where it has a score of two and a half stars out of five. It’s also available for Google’s mobile operating system Android, Symbian, BlackBerry’s operating system and Windows Mobile.
So far Echoecho isn’t too worried about making money. But it might rely on lead generation — basically letting merchants pay for a top spot in the recommendation list — to generate revenue once it gets rolling. One other option would be adding advertisements to the map, but the company doesn’t plan to try that strategy because it would mar the user experience.