Cooliris is a service that puts photos from multiple social networks in a single place — and now it has branched out into messaging with the launch of a new app, BeamIt.

The new app comes after Cooliris gradually started placing more emphasis on messaging features. To avoid bloating the main app with too many features, the company decided to launch a separate app instead, and thus BeamIt was born.

A Cooliris spokesperson tells TNW:

Cooliris solves the problem of having photos scattered all over the place and getting them organized in one app — think of it as your photo universe packed in one app.

BeamIt solves the problem of messaging with propositions unique to any messaging app. These are: having all photos in full resolution without compromising for speed, having them available from any device you connect from, being able to unsend any photo or comment from the entire group as well as being able to draft messages even if you are totally offline.

Essentially, BeamIt is a messaging app that revolves around photos instead of text.

BeamIt 1 730x431 BeamIt is a new visual messaging iOS app from photo sharing service Cooliris

What’s interesting is that BeamIt has woven in a Facebook element of likes and comments, which makes it easier for conversations to form around individual photos as well, parallel to the main chat taking place in the group.

However, I found the current layout a bit clunky. Comments on photos still show up (in chronological order) on the main feed, making it rather messy. I would rather the comments for photos show up only when you tap into the image, though of course there will be buttons indicating the number of comments.

Another feature that bugged me was that you have to long press a photo before the options for liking and commenting on something show up. A Cooliris spokesperson tells us that an updated version will land next week, rolling out buttons at the bottom of photos for easier access to like and comment on something.

BeamIt also boasts certain features that have been patented by Cooliris — one of them is Photo Drawers (think of it as a gallery), which lets users share hundreds of photos at once in full resolution and doesn’t take up vertical space in the flow of conversation. Other features include letting users share to separate groups or individual people at the same time, which means there isn’t a need to compose the same message multiple times. There is also a ‘Delete’ feature to unsend photos from the group.

BeamIt 2 730x323 BeamIt is a new visual messaging iOS app from photo sharing service Cooliris

BeamIt is a freemium app, with in-app purchases scheduled to appear in subsequent updates. The company says that the Web versions of BeamIt (on PCs and Macs) will be landing some time in the next four weeks, while an Android version will be coming before the fourth quarter of this year.

➤ BeamIt: iOS