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Microsoft Releases Collaborative Event-Planning App ‘Who’s In’ For iMessage, But Will It Fail?

6 April 2017, 8:38 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
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Microsoft is looking into collaborative event-planning next, as it releases "Who's In," an app for iMessage that does exactly that. It also marks the company's expanded presence on iOS and, by extension, the iMessage platform, which is a wise choice to take considering its proprietary Windows Phone market share isn't anything to write home about.

The cleverly named Who's In is designed to help a bunch of friends to decide if they want to dine out, watch a movie together, participate in events, vote on what to do, visit attractions, and more.

Plan Trips And Getaways With Friends Using Microsoft's Who's In

Microsoft has, over the years, supported the iOS platform for a number of its software, including games, apps for creativity, and apps for productivity such as the Office suite.

Obviously, Who's In isn't actually Microsoft's first iMessage app. It also previously released an iMessage app for OneDrive, which lets users to push documents and photos from the cloud into conversations. There's also Bing, which allows users to search for things in-chat, and #MovieDate, a sticker-heavy app for inviting someone to watch a movie with.

Who's In appears to be culling elements from two of those aforementioned apps: Bing for searches and #MovieDate for group planning. In fact, the app leverages Bing to search for nearby restaurants, movie schedules, events, and attractions — all of which are also informed by third-party sources such as Yelp or TripAdvisor.

Aside from the coterie of events preloaded, users can also create their own events for things that can't be put under categories, such as hikes, spa trips, an all-girls night out, maybe even stargazing, and whatnot. The app will let users set up a time and location, then invite other members to jump in if so they choose. Participants in the chat may, of course, opt in, opt out, or suggest other plans altogether.

What's In Store For Who's In?

The surprising thing here is that Who's In — the concept, at least — has actually been done before and failed. Google once outed a similar schtick called Who's Down, which it shut down for lack of ample engagement. Who's Down is also apparently a knockoff of the app Free, which is now basically defunct. Could Who's In suffer the same fate as Who's Down and Free?

For now, it's hard to say. With Facebook's integrated events feature already a thing of utmost usability, Microsoft needs to show that Who's In is the only app for collaborative planning. Otherwise, Facebook could just make a similar chatbot for Messenger and steal Microsoft's team, as it had with Snapchat. But while Facebook's event-planning features are great, it's meant for larger groups and involves more legwork than simply asking a small pool of friends if they want to hang out, as Who's In intends.

It could work. Depending on the level of engagement iMessage has, Microsoft's collaborative event-planning tool could surface as the foremost tool for such, especially given the fact that in this day and age, millennials often have trouble deciding on where to go, what do, and, well — who's in.

Check out Who's In at the iMessage store.

Will you give Who's In a try? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!

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