In an age where we are constantly connected to the Internet 24/7 through our smartphones, tabs and even the good, old-fashioned computer, the workplace exists online as well. No longer is it necessary to be together under one roof in order to work. Your team is scattered across the globe, the co-worker you’re working on a project with on the other side of the world is just a face or a line of text on the screen. There are many ways to keep in touch with team members while working remotely, but few of them are efficient. Sqwiggle is the latest app on the market that promises to solve your remote working issues.
Facilitating lighting fast discussions
Speaking of the app, co-founder Eric Bieller says, “Sqwiggle is meant to facilitate quick discussions”. The app is designed specifically to bring remote teams closer, faster. The first question that pops to mind is, what the difference between Sqwiggle and Skype or Google Hangouts is. According to Bieller, people usually feel extremely disconnected in remote working situations. You miss the motivation, the camaraderie, the feeling of being a part of something larger when you are not in an office setting. While Skype and Google Hangouts let you call people, you still need to send the other person an invitation and have them accept it. You can also never be sure whether they are actually online or not. Sqwiggle works differently as it does away with the process of inviting or accepting an invitation to start a meeting with your team members. You simply click on the name of the person you want to talk to and a chat window opens up; you can also be sure whether people are really online or “afk” (away from keyboard). Sqwiggle has an “aspect of presence” that other apps lack, according to Bieller.
The story of three friends
Sqwiggle is a remarkable outcome of idea and destiny. Bieller has been internet friends with co-founder Tom Moor for a year, and had gone to high school with Matt Boyd, the third co-founder of the San Francisco based startup. Bieller and Boyd were busy working on an idea for an app that could bring remote teams closer when Moor, who had just left his startup, Buffer, and moved to the US, also expressed an interest in the concept. Delighted with the coincidence, Bieller met him, and together with Boyd, had a working prototype ready in two weeks. Asked about the rather original name, Bieller says “there’s no specific reason but I like to think that the nature of a squiggle is that it’s drawn very quickly. In general, Sqwiggle is meant to facilitate quick discussions”. He cites Skype as an example. The average Skype call is 27 minutes, while the average session on Sqwiggle is 2-3 minutes – this leads to more efficient working.
Plans for the future
Sqwiggle charges $9 every month for every user. There is also a free 14 day trial, so that you can see how comfortable you feel with it before shelling out. Although there is no particular limit as to how many people can be in a workroom, Sqwiggle has currently limited the number to 10-15; however, they plan to increase this soon. They are also set to launch multiple workrooms so that managing a large team becomes easy. A video discussion can currently have up to 4 people but they’re working hard to increase the limit there too. Sqwiggle is available as a Chrome app and also as a native Mac app that can be downloaded from sqwiggle.com. The team is planning to extend it to more browsers, as well as releasing it as a native Windows app in the near future.