As messaging apps take steps to add more encryption and privacy features to protect users' conversations, one new app is going in the complete opposite direction. Dubbed Public, the app is the brainchild of Boxee founder Avener Ronen, and is meant as 'a third medium for broadcasting conversations' after audio and video.
Public could be described as group chats with an audience. Anyone can make their own public chat group and embed them on other websites as well as share them via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Anyone can follow conversations in real-time or read up on them later, and there are some basic tools for the audience to participate with he option to react, comment, ask questions – these are displayed separately from the main conversation.You can also request to be part of a group, but members of that group must approve.
The app could find a niche among companies and famous people who already have an audience, or perhaps for live blogging events. In a way we already have a place for 'public conversations', it's called Twitter, but something like Public is definitely more moderated.
Whether public group chat apps will gain traction remains to be seen, especially since audio and video seems like a much more appropriate medium for passive audiences. But Public is not alone in giving this idea a go. Former Twitter exec Michael Sippey recently unveiled Talk Show, an app that also lets you broadcast your text conversations in public.