HeyWire is a Boston based startup that aims to be a simplified, yet incredibly robust social communications hub for users worldwide. It is a free, ad supported texting app that connects with Twitter, Facebook and GTalk.
By far, the coolest part of this app is the fact that international users will never have to pay to text to a U.S. number again. Here’s how: Download the app and HeyWire assigns each user with with a real phone US +1 number. Right away you can use that number, over an Internet connection, to text with anyone in the +1 area code, skirting international fees.
Users should import their phone’s contacts so that incoming messages will then display names instead mobile numbers. What if you want to text someone in the Philippines for free? HeyWire is available in over 146 countries. So get your friends signed up for HeyWire, and you’ll never have to pay for a text to them again if you text them within the app. You can also text them from 30,000 feet in the air if you happen to be on a WiFi enabled plane.
HeyWire VP Marketing Glenn Kiladis says they can do this using their “secret magic,” which is a combination of patent pending messaging architecture technologies that enable IP and SS7 to interact with each other. In brief: SS7 is the way mobile operators send text messages. As Internet Protocol (IP) progresses, HeyWire has laid an IP architecture over the SS7 to send international SMSCs, tech lingo for the messages sent back and forth. Look at HeyWire as a virtual mobile operator which you can use to text to any other HeyWire user for free or any user in the U.S., Caribbean and Canada.
The app is supported through in app purchases like theme and ringtone options. You can also buy out the advertising within the app; on a yearly basis it’s $9.99, monthly $3.99. While there’s never an ad within a message, it does run banner ads through iad’s ad network.
The Boston based startup launched on September 27th, 2010 and is currently growing by hundreds of thousands users a month. HeyWire ranks consistently in the top 20 social networking apps for iOS on the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. They launched their app on Android in January and are one of the only texting apps on Android that includes Facebook chat.
For more details about the app and (very) soon to be announced features, stay tuned.