Last week, Toronto-based startup Crowdfield announced the launch of their new location-based real-time chat application that lets users discover interesting conversations and events around them. It is also a powerful new tool that enables marketers to interact with customers based on their location and share information about local sales and special in-store promotions.
The Crowdfield app founders believe that hashtags can be an awkward tool for discovering conversations at a store or event venue. By creating conversation chat “fields” instead, Crowdfield enables users to easily find and join the relevant conversations taking place at any session occurring simultaneously at a conference or event.
Dustin Plett, Co-Founder and Head of Business Development at Crowdfield says that he and the company Founder and Lead Developer, Renat Gataullin, wanted the app to “be a utility that is simple to use – the most useful tool in your social media toolbox.”
With a background in social media community management services, Plett says that the app is “the missing piece of the social media puzzle.” Crowdfield imagines a world where every store, coffee shop and restaurant has their own field that is searchable by location and is used for customer engagement through an easily accessible mobile chat session.
Crowdfield plans to monetize their application via a Community Management Dashboard (CMD). The CMD is a tool to monitor multiple conversations (or fields) happening around the world, from one central hub accessible through your desktop browser. It will save Community Managers the trouble of having to search for people who are using specific hashtags and keywords related to a particular brand. You can position static fields where you want consistent brand presence (i.e. specific store locations, festival venues, etc.), or create private fields for personal use (i.e. distributed workforce management). The desktop app will also offer analytics functionality, which will allow users to gather data for their business, listen to customer feedback and search keywords for insight. It is slated for release at the end of June.
The first beta release of the Crowdfield iPhone app is now free to download on iTunes. Android and Blackberry versions are currently in the works as well.
Tell us what you think. Are hashtags too awkward as a conversation discovery tool?