When Gavin and I started GoInstant we had one simple idea that drove everything:
The Web today is a solitary, single-player experience.
You see evidence of things other people have done online, but rarely have a chance to share experiences with them.
The web is becoming a Multiplayer environment, where you can do new things because other people are there with you.
I wrote about this in my post The Age of The Intimate Web back in early 2011, and since then we’ve seen some of the most successful consumer applications in the world creating shared experiences.
Whether it’s Facebook’s real-time updating of activities such as Likes and comments, or Quora’s approach, which tells you who is performing an action on a piece of content you are looking at, the idea that other people are using an app or website at the same time as you is becoming more mainstream. The huge growth in mobile is only speeding up this transition.
Some of the best examples today are Google Docs and Stypi, which use presence, collaboration and visual indicators so that their users can do something that wasn’t possible before: collaborate on content in real-time.
Today we are announcing the new GoInstant. It replaces our previous products and makes it dead easy to create multi-user real-time applications.
Building a rich multi-user environment is time consuming and difficult. We think it should be simple and should scale along with your core application seamlessly.
As a developer you have access to our full stack, which manages User Presence, Access Control, Real-time Messaging, State Storage and an end-to-end security suite. That means that you can focus on the things that make your app truly special and useful for your users.
The best part is that these are all first-class citizens in the stack, so all of your sessions, state, data and eventing are managed on a service that can scale along with you so that you can spend your time and energy on your core application.
GoInstant requires no servers and integration of the platform can be as little as a few lines of code. At hackathons we’ve run, we’ve seen developers implement things like presence, collaboration and state sharing in a few hours and without the headache of managing an entirely new real-time stack. I love this maps demo because it only took a few hours to create.
To date, the predominant user experience on the web and mobile has been lonely and so focused on the single-user that we’ve missed an opportunity to allow our users to connect with other users, in order to accomplish things more efficiently, or to do entirely new things together.
We are excited about what you will be able to build with GoInstant and we hope you’ll share it with us when you do.