Have a question that needs answering right now? Maybe it’s a computer conundrum that even Google can’t help with, or perhaps you’re just wondering what to wear to your next job interview.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could directly target a group of people who are already interested in what you have to say? That’s exactly the intention behind Grouvi, the latest mobile venture for iOS and Android by Aibek Esengulov (MakeUseOf founder).
Grouvi brings people with common interests together using a simple mobile app, and we think the potential is massive.
Grouvi is a mobile app, and that mobile accessibility is key to its effectiveness as a platform for discussion, discovery and support. The app brings users together under groups — except unlike Yahoo or Facebook groups, these channels have massive instant reach thanks to the immediacy of a mobile platform and push notifications.
That makes Grouvi a bit of a jack of all trades. If you’re simply looking for somewhere to hang out and chat about the latest iPhone games, you’re in luck. Then again if you have a more specific question you want to ask, you can simply find the relevant group and ask away.
There’s no hard limit on discussions with Grouvi. If the group doesn’t exist, you can choose to create it. If you only have a passing interest in certain groups, you can mute notifications and check in on your own terms. The platform’s primary aim is to assemble a collective of individuals who, just like you, value the instant reach of a topic-based discussion platform.
The closest thing I can compare Grouvi with is WhatsApp Messenger, except unlike WhatsApp messenger, Grouvi isn’t designed to put you in touch with people you already know, but those who share your passions and interests.
Find & Create Groups
Grouvi keeps things simple — if you’ve ever used a messenger app before, everything will seem familiar.
The Groups tab is where you will find the channels you currently belong to, with a toggle for keeping track of those you have created yourself. Create a new group using the plus “+” icon in the top-left corner. Groups can be private but not hidden, with private groups requiring admin approval of requests to join.
Hit the search icon in the top-right corner to be taken to the Featured Groups page. Here you can peruse the currently-trending groups, or use the search field to narrow down your selection. Tap a group to see a preview of it, or hit Join Group at the bottom of the screen to add it to your list. By default, any new groups you join will send you notifications — but you can change this from the groups list.
In order to mute a group, find the group you would like to mute within your list and swipe right-to-left. Three options appear: Mute, Media and Information. The first mutes notifications, the second displays all media shared within the group (much like iOS Messages own “Details” screen) and the final icon provides a group overview.
Saves & Favourites
Groups allow you to send and receive text, photo or video messages. It’s possible to save any of these for later by simply long-pressing the message and selecting Save (which looks like a bookmark icon). You can also “like” messages by long-pressing and tapping the heart icon, which is used to highlight interesting portions of the conversation.
The ability to save messages allows you to continue chatting in a group without having to open another app or browser in order to save a link, image or message. These items all appear on the Saves tab, which sorts all of your saves by channel for easy categorisation.
Finally, the Profile tab is all about you. You can change your display picture, view your message count, reputation (determined by the number of items you have posted which people have liked and saved) and any groups you belong to. This is your public profile, accessible by anyone who taps your avatar or name in a channel.
You can change other settings like incoming notification sounds and vibration alerts under the settings panel in the top-right corner, if you really want to.
Win An iPhone 6
Grouvi‘s take on topical group messaging is exciting, and so is the giveaway we’re currently running as part of the launch. By submitting your mobile number, MakeUseOf will text you when Grouvi is available and enter you into the draw to win a silver iPhone 6 (16GB) so you can join in on the discussions.