Texting feels instant, but of course it isn't: Everyone composes, recomposes, thinks better of it, deletes. Beam is a new texting app for Android with a simple hook that feels revolutionary, and not necessarily in a good way: It shows you everything the other person is typing as they type it, and vice versa.
Everything. In real time. All the stuff you think better of and all the stuff you delete.
Suddenly, texting looks less like an exchange of letters and more like a co-edited Google Doc:
While the effect produced by Beam certainly turns texting into a different and potentially more informative kind of conversation, the implications are sort of terrifying. People already go crazy staring at the standard "now typing" ellipsis. Imagine Beam in the hands of people after a first date! Or worried parents! Or drunks!
There is one population, however, for whom Beam will be perfect: the radically honest.
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Joseph Bernstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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