Unified Communications Featured Article

Get Ready to Chat Using Ping for E-mail

September 10, 2013

Ping will make it a lot more fun to exchange e-mails starting with iPhone apps.

The new service, which starts next week, offers video chat, voice messaging, Facebook messages, different colors, as well as doodles. It is similar to options found on mobile messaging apps and can be used with AOL, Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo, and iCloud e-mail services. It is being marketed as being very people-friendly and highly conversational.

"E-mail should adapt to us, not the other way around," Ping CEO Erez Pilosof explained to Business Insider about the service.

“We need to put human conversation back in the center of e-mail if it will ever function properly again,” Pilosof added in a statement to Mashable.

The Israeli-based company will start offering the service on Sept. 18. It is free of charge for now. It will later be offered for the Web, the Android operating system and for iPads, news reports said.

For some, it may make e-mail the preferred way to once again communicate.

“E-mail is actually the biggest and one of the best open communication platforms we have today. It’s just lost its way. We don’t need to tame e-mail or feel like we work for e-mail, we need to find a way to let email flourish so it’s finally fun again,” Guy Gamzu, a Ping co-founder, told Mashable.

Here’s a bit on how Ping works. CNET reports, “E-mails from people you know appear in a ‘Chat’ feed with messages organized into rich-media conversations, meaning, that like in messaging apps, each new e-mail is added to a conversation chain with a person or group. Generic e-mails like newsletters, meanwhile, are filtered into a separate feed that you can ignore altogether should you choose…After awhile with Ping, you might forget that this is e-mail.”

It’s gotten some positive reviews. “Ping's biggest draws are an excellent design, ease of use, and its ability to de-clutter your inbox without overwhelming you,” the Business Insider reported. Mashable described it as a “hybrid between e-mail and messaging apps.”

“I could see this becoming a good companion app to deal with the social side of e-mail,” one reader, DavidFabian, said on TUAW.

The company also sees it as an up-to-date service that offers the social options e-mail users want to see.

“Ping is all about making e-mail fit to the way we’ve evolved to communicate today. There are myriad services for communicating that we love dearly - social networks, a plethora of messaging apps and even iMessage - but e-mail, one of the strongest open communication platforms we have, is still stuck in the dark ages. It’s past time to do away with the antiquated letter format, fragmented, rigid conversations and riddled letters and folders once and for all. We are the mobile messaging, snapchatting generation, and it’s time for email to join us,” Ping says on its website.

Interested in using Ping? There is a waiting list at the Ping site.  Already, tens of thousands of people preregistered for the service. Looks like thousands of more are headed over there in coming days.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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