If messaging someone and then waiting for their response to arrive when they see it seems too old school for you, there’s a new real-time conversation app in town – Honk. Squarely targeting the hyper-connected, Gen Z of the internet, for whom dial-up modems and 56Kbps broadband are myths, the Honk app is designed for friends to chat with each other in real time. As a result, there will be no back log of conversations left in chat windows, and no messaging session can happen until both participants are online and active at the same time. Furthermore, messages in chat windows are shown live as they are typed, including typos and all other goof-ups that you typically cover up before sending a message to someone, and taken the real-time messaging stance to the hilt, there is no send button either.
How this works is that once you feel the need to contact a friend via the Honk app, you simply select that person’s contact on Honk and send… a ‘Honk’. Essentially, this will send a loud notification to your friend’s phone, who would presumably come online once they receive it. If they don’t Honk states that you can really spam that Honk button to catch a user’s attention. If your friend is online on the app but still not responding, they will get a barrage of colourful emoticons notifying your desperate attempts to catch their eye. Once you have and open a friend’s chat window, there will be two bubbles, where everything you both send will be shown in real time. This would include emojis and photos as well, which can both be snapped in-app or shared from the gallery.
The app also appears to have a ‘Magic Word’ feature, which appears to work like the special animations on iMessages. You can assign a special effect or an emoji to up to 50 such words, which will then trigger these animations. All in all, Honk appears to have designed itself as a more ‘fun’ messaging service, while WhatsApp and such conventional messaging apps are positively too austere in front of this right now. If all this seems too hyperactive or intrusive to you, then you’re definitely too old for it – Honk’s sign up pages classify the oldest sign-up age as ‘21+’, which also clearly hints at the user group that it is targeting.
The target may be working, too. A report on the app by TechCrunch has stated that as of now, Honk appears to be struggling with bugs and issues originating from the steady load of traffic from enthusiastic users looking to sign up for it. App founder Benji Taylor wrote on Twitter that users have already sent over 1 million ‘Honks’ to each other, and acknowledged the technical issues with the app right now before stating that they’re working to iron out the flaws. However, Honk has not yet described its security standards, which beckons a statutory warning that users must proceed with caution before sharing anything sensitive on the app – a minimum cross-check factor considering today’s data security environment.