Group messaging apps were the latest hype, a year ago. Yet, it seems some companies are still only now jumping on the bandwagon. Case in point, Yahoo, which is launching its very first group messaging app, dubbed Hub.
Yahoo Hub is a fairly standard group messaging app, it enables users to have group conversations as well as private ones. It's as basic as it gets, you can send and receive messages and that's about it. It's only available for Android phones.
"For those heavy texters out there, we are excited to introduce Hub, a fast and easy-to-use mobile messaging app that allows you to send text messages and have group conversations for free," Yahoo announced
"Hub allows you to easily add participants to any conversation thread so it’s easy to switch from private messaging to a group conversation," it said.
Messages are sent over WiFi or data connections, when available. However, if recipients don't have the app installed, they'll get an SMS instead. Absolutely nothing original about this part, that's how the vast majority of group messaging apps work.
Yahoo boasts about it being free to send a message. Of course, since most are sent over WiFi or data connections, that doesn't really mean anything. However, SMS messages that you may send are also free, in several countries, which is a nice bonus.
Both Google and Facebook have very similar apps, not to mention the big number of existing group messaging apps out there. Both Google Messenger and Facebook Messenger offer more functionality than what Yahoo Hub does, like photo sharing, maps and so on.
Like Google and Facebook, Yahoo opted to have a stand-alone app, besides the Yahoo Mail or the Yahoo Messenger app. A fresh start may be a good thing, but having to use three different apps from Yahoo to contact your friends doesn't really make sense.
Overall, Yahoo Hub doesn't really bring anything new. Considering that neither Google Messenger nor Facebook Messenger has been able to make much of a case for themselves either, all that these apps are competing on are their brands, Facebook, Google and Yahoo, rather than on features.