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Facebook Acquires Group Messaging Service Beluga

Beluga is part of the fast rising group messaging industry. Beluga was created by 3 Google engineers (Ben Davenport, Lucy Zhang and Jonathan Perlow) who helped developed Gmail and AdSense. If having some Google staff cache wasn’t enough to draw attention to this company, earlier this March 1st, 2011 Beluga was acquired by Facebook.

Beluga offers group messaging through its mobile app platform, currently only for iPhone and Android (however you can access all your Beluga pods from any mobile or desktop browser). In Beluga, pods are private groups of friends.

Within a pod, all members see all updates, photos and shared locations. No one who is not a member of a pod can access its data. Using your smartphone, you can create a pod with any of your contacts’ email or mobile phone number.

The acquisition of Beluga by Facebook has provided major validation of the group messaging service industry, which includes Fast Society, GroupFiler, GroupMe, Mogwee, textPlus, Yobongo and Kik. However, Beluga is not the only player with powerful friends.

Mogwee is backed by Ning, which provides the organization access to Ning’s CTO, Diego Doval (responsible for the product and technology initiatives for the Ning Platform and is one of the world’s leading experts on large scale, distributed self-organizing technology architecture), and Chairman, Marc Andreeseen (founded Ning in 2004 and built two companies with billion-dollar-plus exits: Opsware, formerly known as Loudcloud, and Netscape).

No matter what, the acquisition of Beluga by Facebook makes one thing certain. Anybody in the group messaging business is now going against Facebook.

Check out what group messaging through Belunga is at

Damian Davila shows you 3 Social Media Lessons from Charlie Sheen. Follow him at @idaconcpts.

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