Chat for Podio released

2 May

The new pane lets you chat from anywhere in Podio without leaving what you’re doing behind. What will this mean for productivity?

Does your Podio seem a little empty after the latest User Interface update? Have you wondered what the screen real estate before occupied by the Organisations & Spaces panel will be used for? A part of that answer arrived today when Podio released the new chat pane (Podio blog story, Podio Chat micro site). Here is the official video:

So what is this chat pane anyway and how does it relate to the normal messaging system? Much like Facebook’s unified approach, chat and messaging are different ways of presenting the same functionality. What is new is that private messaging is now

a) live & real-time and

b) acts more as a stand-alone chat client that can stay open regardless of where in Podio you are

So what will this accessibility of instant messaging mean to the way we work in Podio? First of all more people will use messaging in Podio. We have found that many companies  use Skype or iChat in tandem with Podio for that quick checking in with colleagues. Here is an obvious potential for less platform fragmentation. Second of all the amount of messages going back and forth is bound to go up.

Will chat undermine commenting in context? Consider these two statements:

  • Choice is a good thing

  • Habits die hard

The new chat pane gives you an instant overview of who is online and available for.

Both seem true, but when it comes to transforming the way you work to unleash the value of social business, then choice might be your frenemy. For Podio to truly deliver on the promise of content and conversations in context, the user must adopt the habit of commenting in place and having most conversations out in the open. But this does take some time getting used to. The new chat pane makes it easy to fall into the same old separation of work and talk. This makes it clear that for a successful roll-out of a Podio work system, training in this mindset of sharing and talking openly is needed. In that case choice is indeed a good thing and the old habits will die eventually.

Let’s hear from you – how will chat affect work in your organisation?

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  • John twohig

    Hi Kristian, good post, we are currently getting used to this new feature, it works really well and should give people and company’s more flexibility when using Podio. I also agree with your point that there is less reason to leave Podio. This increases efficiency in communication. Overall a great addition.