So this is what Max Levchin has been doing since Google bought his social gaming company Slide last year for $182 million: building a group messaging app.
Yesterday, Slide quietly released Disco, an iPhone app that allows group SMS messaging. The app, which was first revealed by TechCrunch, enters a crowded market — it seems like half the new apps debuted at SXSW earlier this month involved group messaging.
Slide has been allowed to operate as a largely independent subsidiary within Google, and this is probably only the first of many projects that the team is working on.
Levchin was brought on board to help Google come up with a social networking answer to Facebook, but that effort seems to have been split among different groups in the company, with Vic Gundotra leading the team working on the “+1” project, which is rumoured to be adding a social graph on top of Google properties like Gmail.