FlickIM’s Democratic Development

FlickIM.JPGFlickIM, a company that went into service on July 15, 2007, listens to its subscribers and adds services to its AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) chat application that is tailored for the iPhone through democratic methods. Users can send lists of services that they would like to see provided on the application and FlickIM adds the most popular services.

FlickIM has recently added text messaging, email modification and user generated skin options. To test user’s creativity, FlickIM has started a contest called “Show Us Some Skin.” Winners will be given prizes that range from iPhone Bluetooth headsets to Apple gift cards. Well-received entries will be made available to all customers.

The FlickIM service will now inform a user that a text message or email has come in, even if the user has navigated away from the FlickIM chat window or turned off the iPhone. In response to the iPhone’s inability to provide an audible alert to web browser-based activity, FlickIM developed a text messaging system which notifies the iPhone user via text message that an incoming instant message has been received. Email notification provides the same alert service with the incoming message being recorded and delivered to a specified email address. Customers can manage incoming messages while using other functions without a diversion.

FlickIM is clearly a hungry company that wants to provide services customers desire. Sometimes large companies create services that come from focus-groups, and end up flops. Sitting around in a conference room talking about a desirable application isn’t the same as real life needs. By letting customers vote on what they want, FlickIM is able to release useful upgrades without spending resources on things that may end up unpopular.