PORTLAND, OR--(Marketwire - Sep 18, 2012) - Celly today announced availability of its service for building mobile social networks. The new service enables real world groups to instantly self-organize into mobile social networks, called "cells," using text messaging, QR code, email, or web. The speed, simplicity, and flexibility of the Celly platform has led to the creation of more than 20,000 cells across all 50 states for friends, families, schools, communities, local governments, businesses, and the Occupy Movement. The company also announced today availability of the Celly Android App for free download on Google Play.
"We collaborated directly with educators, students, parents, city leaders, community associations, and political movements to develop Celly -- and we learned why social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ don't work for spontaneous sharing in real world scenarios," said Russell Okamoto, co-founder and CEO of Celly. "Celly overcomes lack of privacy, on-boarding friction, oversharing threats, and expensive device requirements that are showstoppers with existing social networks."
Celly streamlines the social networking process through the power, ubiquity, and convenience of mobile phones. Anybody with a mobile phone can join a cell in seconds and instantly share secure group messages, polls, reminders, notes, and topic alerts.
"With the relentless barrage of emails, websites, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ notifications we all receive on a daily basis, a simple, short, and concise text message cuts through all the noise of our digital lifestyles," said Shawn Carrié, member of the Occupy Wall Street's Tech Ops Working Group. "What I love so much about Celly is that anyone can set up a cell in literally a minute, anytime, anyplace, easily tell people how to get on it, they sign up in ten seconds, and it's done -- you're linked. It's a beautifully simple, lightweight system that works intuitively and effectively."
Cells are "social building blocks" that work for any group, event, place, or activity. Cells can operate stand-alone or be linked together into networks to match the size and shape of any organization. "Our goal is to build the smallest communication tool that can have the biggest impact on the most scenarios in the shortest amount of time," said Greg Passmore, co-founder and CTO of Celly.
Celly supports the private, mobile social networking needs of a wide range of users and applications:
- Families -- everyday communication and scheduling for family members, connecting with relatives, weddings, reunions
- Friends -- cliques and social chat
- K-12 and universities -- in-class feedback and polling, homework reminders, school alerts, study groups, parent communication, field trips
- Local governments -- departmental communication, cross-bureau workflow, community outreach
- Neighborhoods -- watch groups, foot patrols, lost and found, community sales, event planning
- Faith-based organizations -- prayer groups, helplines, event fundraising
- Teams, clubs, choirs -- game and practice alerts, ridesharing and travel planning
- Businesses -- staff coordination, field service communication, real-time coupons, customer loyalty campaigns
- Political movements -- 500+ Occupy Movement cells & 20,000 users, election campaigns and fundraising
"Celly is changing the face of education! While Twitter, Google+, and other social media websites are blocked at my school, I can freely use Celly to communicate with my students and their parents in a safe and supportive environment," said Melissa Seideman, history teacher at Haldane High School in Cold Spring, New York. "I use Celly to send text messages to students with reminders, announcements, polls, and questions. Students can text me a specific question such as 'what is on the test tomorrow?' or 'what did I miss in class?' if they were out sick. With Celly, cell phones have the potential to bridge the gap between the home, school, and social media world."
Celly's features can be accessed, managed, and fully synchronized using text, web, email, and now an Android App available for download on Google Play. Feature advantages include:
- Privacy and Sharing Controls -- Celly users communicate freely without identifying individual phone numbers. Group communications can be moderated by one or more "curators" for relevancy, abuse, and redundancy.
- Ubiquitous Access -- On-boarding is instant, simple, and works from any device, addressing the "digital divide" between those with a smartphone or tablet and those who just have an SMS-enabled mobile phone.
- Unlimited, Opt-In Membership -- Cells have no limit on membership. Plus, all members choose to opt-in, or out, of each mobile social network.
- Real-time Discovery -- Cells can track RSS feeds and other social networks for topics of interest. When a cell discovers a search hit, matching messages are automatically imported by the cell and members are instantly notified.
- Multi-Cell Networks -- Multiple cells can link together forming complex networks for collaboration where messages with specific hashtags route from one cell to another.
"The use of Celly enables street gang outreach workers managed through our office to virtually be two places at once," said Tom Peavey, policy manager of the Office of Youth Violence Prevention, City of Portland. "We use Celly to connect available public safety resources from the City and county with private non-profit service organizations and community groups across the City, dramatically speeding up the ability to inform as well as apply needed service. The use of Celly is an essential messaging component to intervention and prevention efforts provided through our office."
"Celly helps us provide the public with immediate, real-time construction and accident updates so our commuters can make informed driving decisions," said Andy Rittler, corporate affairs director, LBJ Express Project. "When it comes to accident response times, our crews are often first on the scene, thanks to the integration of Dallas Fire and Rescue's Twitter feed directly into our Celly mobile network. We also like having the ability to pre-schedule outbound messages and are potentially adding mobile coupons to help drive traffic to local businesses near construction areas. We are constantly finding new ways to leverage the versatility of Celly as a mobile social network and communications tool."
Founded by former cloud computing architects from VMware, Celly is partnered with Portland's Upstart Labs Accelerator Program and was recently recognized in the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 2012 Top 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning.
Pricing and Availability
Celly is available today as a free service via SMS, the Celly website, or the new Android App available on Google Play. iPhone App, Developer API, and premium plans for organizations and advanced users are coming soon.
Celly instantly connects people and topics in everyday life using the power, ubiquity, and convenience of mobile phones. From a text message, Android App, the web, QR code or email, individuals and organizations can spontaneously create private, mobile social networks to communicate, collaborate, and share information using group messages, polls, reminders, voice alerts, notes and real-time feed tracking. The free Celly service powers over 20,000 "cells" in schools, homes, local governments, community groups and neighborhood associations, event planners, teams and clubs, businesses, and the national and local Occupy Movements. Get started with Celly at cel.ly, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and our blog.