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Rediff.com  » Business » Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

Last updated on: July 19, 2011 11:07 IST

Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

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Leslie D Monte in Mumbai

If you're happy with 140 characters that help you Tweet, what would you do with 500 characters? Perhaps write a shorter email? Twitter, which has come up with a solution, Shortmail, seems to thinks so.

Created by a team of veteran entrepreneurs and developers at 410Labs, Shortmail hopes to change the face of communication.

"Thanks for your interest in Shortmail. Shortmail is a new way to communicate. Yes, it's length-limited to 500 characters.

"But it's also social-linked to your Twitter account. Over time, we want to make email more efficient and more social," Dave Troy, chief executive of 410Labs, and creator of Shortmail.com and Twittervision.com, tells all new Shortmail users.

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Image: Twitter has launched Shortmail.

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Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

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Currently, only Twitter users are allowed to use their Twitter usernames on Shortmail.

Anyone typing a message that has more than 500 characters is sent an email to shorten it, with a link that allows the user to edit the email and stick to the character limit.

Twitter is estimated to have around 300 million users worldwide.

Giving reasons for the brevity of Shortmail messages, Troy, on the official blog, says while the length may not be the primary problem with emails, the positive benefits and new capabilities associated with limiting length to 500 characters would be immense.

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Image: Shortmail has a link that allows the user to edit the email.

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Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

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He believes 99 per cent of business communications fit within that limit.

"We believe we can transform interpersonal communications, which has seen little innovation in 40 years," he says.

Besides encouraging conciseness, Shortmail enables features like Public Conversations.

A Public Conversation is an email thread that one can share on the web using a short link.

It lets one create an email thread between multiple parties that can be shared using a short URL.

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Image: Dave Troy created Shortmail.

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Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

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The Shortmail team says it's "hearing from users who are putting their Shortmail address onto business cards they hand out at conferences, adding it to their blog, and including it in their Twitter bio. It's also awesome for teams, and helps you to be concise when communicating with others".

Shortmail can be used to send an email to anyone with an email account. One can also send Shortmails to other Twitter users.

However, for this, they would need to claim their Shortmail accounts. IMAP and SMTP can be used to receive and send messages using iPhone, iPad, Android, and other mobile devices that support IMAP.

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Image: Users can also use iPhone to send and receive Shortmail.

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Now, write Shortmail of 500 characters!

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Currently, there are no Shortmail iPhone or Android apps, though Troy and his team have "something planned soon".

Users can also send and receive Shortmail in their desktop mail client (like Apple Mail, or Outlook) using IMAP and SMTP.

They can also integrate Shortmail with Gmail, using the POP3 protocol. If one changes one's Twitter handle, one would be allowed to also change his Shortmail address.

Though this has to be done manually now, it would be automated soon.

Over the coming months, the Shortmail team plans to add support for multiple devices and platforms, and to become a core part of the internet's messaging architecture.


Image: They can also integrate Shortmail with Gmail.

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