Ev Williams suggesting an idea for a new age messaging app to overcome the rush of frantic messaging.

A messaging service/app that only delivers once per day (say, noon). It’s like going to the mailbox and seeing what’s there for you.

It's an interesting idea in principle. But it would not work in reality. Here are my few quick thoughts.

Why Not!

I think it would be interesting to follow the positive effects of this "forced limitation" — things that might make this experiment succeed.

  • Writing might be fun because people would have time to mature the thought, an idea and word them in exactly the format they want them in.
  • Reading might be fun because there is no urgency to stay on top of the current happenings. Messages don’t become stale if not consumed and commented on as the event is happening.
  • What a person writes about and how he words them would be anticipated. Patience is a virtue that is dying a slow death amongst the people socially active today. If forced, it might allow to pull the reins back a tad.

Why Not.

However the limitations would force the user to see the not-so-good side of the social interaction.

  • Both for writers and readers, the urgency of publishing and consuming would shift from the time of event to the time of publication.
  • The message delivery time cannot be decided to be a fixed time for all — a sort of broadcasting duration. Because not every person has the same consumption pattern. They vary a lot, making the delivery time further complex.
  • The behavior is very similar to a daily/weekly news digest. Anticipation lasts in the initial phases, wades out slowly as the unread messages mount up. Rather, the dying patience makes this experiment further difficult to succeed.

Forced limitation is the stick, but where’s the carrot?