You probably know about TextFree, the iOS app that enables an iPod touch to send texts to mobile phones. If not, your teenager likely is a big fan. On the eve of unveiling a new app letting all iOS devices receive free visual voicemail, Pinger’s marketing chief sat down with us to explain just how huge the original app has become.
The median age of Text Free is 14, Joe Sipher says. Since its launch in 2009, the Pinger app has 1.6 billion text messages per month, providing 11 million virtual phone numbers to more than 15 million U.S. users alone. Along the way, the app turned Pinger into the seventh-largest mobile carrier, finding around $25 million in new revenue for carriers.
But what if I’m not a 14-year-old kid with an iPod touch, but a 40-year-old with an iPhone 4S? Along with giving you free texting and free visual voicemail, the Textfree Voice + VM app available from the iTunes App Store offers another feature: flexibility. The app gives you a second phone line for free. For instance, the phone number you get from Verizon or AT&T or Sprint can be your work number, while you can reserve the Pinger number of family and friends. Don’t want to pay to check out a photo – have it sent to the Pinger number.
What’s the future of Pinger and TextFree? To become what CEO and co-founder Greg Woock says is “full-featured, free communications for everyone.”