TWALKITOUT: Messaging is no more about texts. It’s a bit more than that. And that is exactly what Phonon voice chat is all about. It takes your messaging to a whole new level. It adds a rich layer of Voice to your messaging needs. That’s not all. There is more to add to the conversation. You can comment on your friend’s posts and photos on Facebook with your voice. Along with that, you can have a voice caption to your Facebook photos, send stickers and even memes in you chats. It is Interaction, at an all new level.
The cool factor about PhonOn is that it is “Made in India”. It is a Chennai based startup by 3 Anna Univ Graduates, who left their jobs at Tech-Biggies to work on making our conversations more natural. TwalkItOut caught up with the team to discuss more about PhonOn. Here is what they have to say.
TIO: What exactly is Phonon?
PhonOn is a place for your conversations. PhonOn enables a rich messaging experience and a social context overlay to help you start new conversations with your network.
TIO: How big is your team?
We are a lean team of 3. We’ve all worked on consumer tech products before in different capacities.
Currently, Srikrishnan focuses on partnerships, planning, iOS dev; Vignesh on product, marketing, iOS dev; Deepak on architecture, server side and Android dev
TIO: Is phonon funded?
We are bootstrapped.
TIO: India is known to have a large technology population. Yet it is difficult to find an Indian startup reaching a respectable position. Why is it so?
Start-ups are tough and are fighting against all odds – no matter where they are from. If we are talking about tech product start-ups in specific, we will definitely have our share of success as more people gain experience working in products, and as the supporting ecosystem gets better.
TIO: How is Chennai’s environment for Startups?
We started work on PhonOn from Chennai 9 months ago. I was in Mumbai and Vignesh in Bangalore prior to that. Chennai certainly has a fair amount of start-up buzz these days. We’ve had Yourstory organize a couple of events, Nasscom 10,000 start-ups had mentoring sessions for startups, Microsoft organized the Bizsparks startup challenge in Chennai, and GSF is starting a batch in Chennai as well. I believe TiE is pretty active here as well. We only recently started engaging with other start-ups here, and we’re seeing some interesting and impressive work happening out of here.
TIO: Being ‘one of the kind’ app, what do you predict about the future of phonon?
Our goal with the current app is to introduce new rich messaging behavior among our users. We see PhonOn evolving into your hub for all conversations, and the preferred way to reach out to a contact.
We also see big changes coming in the way remote communication happens, and would love to see PhonOn play a significant role in accelerating those changes. We believe we will see conversations move seamlessly between synchronous and asynchronous modes, and that we may potentially see a tilt towards more conversations starting with asynchronous intent.
TIO: Which feature are you concentrating the most? The ‘unique’ Voice comments on Facebook or the ‘crowded’ voice chat?
It is still early days for us, and we recently added a few new features to the app – you can now caption pictures with voice in the flow of sharing a photo and also send animated stickers to friends, adding your voice to them. The current focus is on adding features and experiences that make it fun and convenient to use PhonOn with close family and groups of friends. If you have pain points in these areas, do reach out to us!
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