First look at Pownce

The alpha release of Kevin Rose's latest project lets you share files, links, and other info with your friends. Sure, it's a combination of several old ideas. But it works well.

Rafe Needleman Former Editor at Large
Rafe Needleman reviews mobile apps and products for fun, and picks startups apart when he gets bored. He has evaluated thousands of new companies, most of which have since gone out of business.
Rafe Needleman
2 min read

Kevin Rose, of Digg and Revision 3 fame, just launched an invite-only alpha of his latest project, Pownce. Pownce lets you share files, links, and other info with your friends. It's not an original concept. Yet Pownce makes an extremely good first impression. (Earlier, we had invites to give out--but we're sorry, they're all gone now.)

Pownce's useful and fun desktop app. CNET Networks

Pownce strongly reminds me of Tubes (review) and Izimi (review), and little less so of AllPeers (stories) and Pando (quick hit). It's also reminiscent of the file-transfer feature of various instant-messaging clients.

There's also a heavy dose of Twitter (stories) in Pownce. Every time you send a file or note, it's added to your running feed of activities that anyone can view; likewise, it's easy to see the public feeds of other users and the private items posted by your friends.

You can send items to individuals on your list, to everyone, or to groups you set up (for example, you can have a family group, a group for a project at work, and so on).

At the moment, Pownce lets you send plain text notes, URLs, files, and event invitations (and it tracks RSVPs). I would not be surprised to see audio or video recording functions built into the product, which would make Pownce an interesting alternative to Twittergram.

Pownce works through a Web page, and there's also a slick Adobe AIR (formerly Apollo) desktop app.

It's easy to discount Pownce as a me-too concept. In fact, it's several. But it's extremely well put-together--capable yet easy to get into and use. And useful. And fun. Try it if you can.

Update: Pownce is free, but there's a pro version for $20 a year that's ad-free and lets you upload larger files.

Update 2: Pownce stinks if you want to upload multiple files into one item. It doesn't do it. It recommends Zipping them on your own and uploading the Zip.

Pownce on the Web. More capable than the desktop app, but not as omnipresent. CNET Networks