We’ve all had that moment where you receive a text, read it, and because of how our social brains have been programmed by Facebook, you’re first thought is to “Like” it.
Sometimes you don’t want or need to send a full response to a text message, just as you don’t with every Facebook post. You may just want to “Like” it. You have nothing to respond with, but you enjoyed the post, and want to show the Sender that you received and appreciated it.
Texting is one of those early “new” tech features that took the world by storm, and even-though over the years we have gained the iPhone, apps, HD video, touch screens, and more from mobile phones, texting itself has yet to actually improve past simple aesthetic updates. Texting looks a lot prettier than it did in 2000, but it still functions the same.
The first modern SMS text-messaging service to be made available in the U.S., was released publicly on November 15, 1995 by Sprint Spectrum in Washington, DC and Baltimore, Maryland. In 2002 when I was a Sales Manager for then, Circuit City Stores in Virginia, Sprint’s text-messaging service had not changed in 7 years from the consumer’s perspective. By the time I worked for Sprint in 2005, again the technology had gone unchanged. And an additional 9 years later, functionality is still fundamentally the same.
Why not take texting and social media and mesh the two together? How would you like to “Like” a text message? It’s already become second nature. The motion of clicking “Like” on a text will feel natural. Trust me.
How about adding #Hashtags to texting, and allow users to group messages and more easily locate that message they sent to a friend last month? Ever want to find an old message, and instead just find yourself scrolling endlessly, and never finding what you’re looking for?
How about adding @Mentions to text messaging? For example, @Mention your friends @Josh, @Susan, @Bethany, and @Chris in order to add them to a group message. This feature would allow you to group your friends. Separate your friends from co-workers and family. Think of it as Google+ Circles for text messaging. Once you set your groups, you can now more easily and quickly send tailored messages directed to particular sets of people.
Have you ever heard of Retext? Of course not. I just invented it. Just like a @twitter Retweet, but again for text messaging. Simply Retext a text that you’ve received, and it will post for your texting viewers to see it. The people you typically text, and/or your chosen groups.
If you “Like” a text this much, show the Sender how you feel by making it your Favorite. You do this on @twitter all the time. Why not with texting?
The bottom line is that text messaging is HUGE! That’s why Facebook dished out $19 Billion for WhatsApp. But the problem is that without improvements, texting has little room to grow, and nowhere to go. It’s time to take some old but effective technology and spruce it up a bit. Who knows, maybe this is what Facebook has in mind. #SocialSMS