The SXSW conference this past week in Austin was theoretically supposed to be a launchpad for several mobile group texting/chat apps, including NYC’s GroupMe and Fast Society, Facebook’s Beluga, Kik, Yobongo, Ning’s Mogwee, and others.Who won? It basically sounds like there wasn’t a single, clear winner — that people were using a bunch of the apps.
So we’re going to crown Twilio the winner.
Wait, you’ve never heard of Twilio? That’s OK. If you’re just using these apps, and not developing them, you’re not supposed to know it exists.
Twilio powers parts of the back-end for several group texting/chat apps, including GroupMe, Beluga, Fast Society, and others. And Twilio cofounder and CEO Jeff Lawson tells us that the company saw a “good bump” in SXSW traffic.
In the early days of a new platform, it’s often the infrastructure company behind the scenes that scores first. During the web video boom, the early winners were video distribution companies like Akamai and network equipment makers like Cisco.
Now that group texting is booming, Twilio is benefiting. That’s not to say that one of these group texting companies won’t someday become bigger than Twilio or replace it in their product with their own system. But today, it’s good to be Twilio.