Austin-based Banter just launched at South by Southwest Interactive.
Yes, some people say not to launch at SXSW because the signal to noise ratio is just too high. So much stuff going on SXSW that a new company might just lost in the shuffle.
But Banter’s app seeks to solve that problem.
Banter is the “first anonymous social network,” which connects people to topics and converstaions that they might be interested in. Users can reveal as much or as little about themselves as they choose on Banter and they can chat about whatever they want. It has created apps for the Android and iOs mobile phones, available for free download at Banter.Andrew Busey, inventor of iChat, the first Web-based chat platform created Banter along with Tony Chen, ex-Zynga head of product.
Banter works by allowing people to make public or private chat rooms varying in size from a couple of people to large groups. The chat rooms can also be location-specific around a venue, conference or party. Public chat messages only last for 24 hours and private messages can last for six months.
The app is great for live events when people want to talk about the Oscars, Super Bowl, news events or when people go to a bar or an event together like SXSW.
“If you’re looking for a room that doesn’t exist Banter will let you create it or join the closest room in the same context,” according to its news release.“Banter allows users to finally expand beyond friends and family to include new people that share views and interests,” according to its news release. “Chat was so popular during the early days of the Web because of how invigorating this experience of connecting with new people can be — especially new people that share your passions. But somewhere along the way, chat died and was replaced by social networking. Now, just as you might text your friend while waiting for the bus, you can chat with someone in South Africa about the 2014 World Cup. That’s the power of Banter.”