Jamming with 3jam: 'reply-all' for phones

New text-messaging service.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
2 min read

The presenters at the AlwaysOn conference earlier this week might have primarily consisted of companies that are marketing toward the advertising and media communities, but there were still plenty of consumer-oriented start-ups. So many, in fact, that we still aren't finished writing about them. Here's another one you all might find interesting--3jam, which allows you to send reply-all text messages to a group of your friends.

There are a bunch of different ways to use 3jam. On a basic level, you can start reply-all groups by simply texting 3jam's number, or you can use a downloadable app or the company's mobile Web site. You invite friends, they join in, and poof! You've got a text-message party.

3jam's motto is "In the loop, on the fly," and indeed, it's much more "on the fly" than other group text-messaging services like Yahoo's Mixd. If you're trying to get in touch with a group of friends to plan an impromptu night out or afternoon Frisbee match, this could be a good idea. But it's always good to keep in mind that there are still plenty of folks out there who are paying ten cents per text message and might not appreciate spending several extra bucks by getting roped into a reply-all texting spree. You know, courtesy.

What I wanted to know: how does a company like this make money? According to CEO Andy Jagoe, there are a few ways. "Multi-party text messaging drives significant additional revenue for carriers, and 3jam will get a piece of that pie," he explained, adding that the company is also looking into using the technology as an advertising model as well.