There’s no end of messaging apps that let you exchange texts, photos and videos with friends–Whatsapp, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and so on. There are also a lot of business-oriented apps such as Slack, HipChat, and Yammer.
But what about a messaging app that lets you address the space in between entertainment and work, which is to say coordinating and planning activities with a few friends or coworkers? That’s what Cola aims to do.
Today the San Francisco-based startup is launching a limited, private beta test of an app that uses messaging as the basis for a wide variety of common things people want to get done, from figuring out where and when to meet with friends and creating joint to-do lists to tracking expenses at work and even engaging in multi-player games. The idea, says cofounder and CEO David Temkin, is that messaging has emerged as the most important function of a smartphone and even the foundation of many apps on the smartphone, from Uber to DoorDash to Venmo. “We are entering an era when messaging is the central app, like the browser was for the Web,” says Temkin.
Indeed, Temkin hopes to make Cola the first “messaging OS,” a platform on which activities that need to be coordinated among a small number of people can get done using messaging as the essential delivery mechanism. …