Scrybe’s Convofy is a new enterprise social networking tool aiming to take on established players like Yammer, Socialtext and Salesforce Chatter. It has all of the usual features you’d expect to see in a tool like this, such as a Facebook-like news feed, profiles, groups, public and private messaging, but where Convofy stands out from the crowd is that it has some novel real-time collaborative features built-in; users sharing documents, images and web pages in Convofy can use markup tools to add context to them.
This ability to add context to shared items in Convofy might seem fairly insignificant, but it makes it into a really powerful and dynamic collaboration tool. For example, as shown in the screenshot below, a Convofy user can share a link to a web page and highlight the specific sections of text that they want to share, adding comments or hyperlinks. Other users can then add their own comments, generating a discussion around the shared content.
Users can also upload documents, spreadshseets, images or PDFs and add contextual notes, annotations and hyperlinks, linked directly to the comments they make, as shown below.
There are some other innovative features, too. For example, Convofy’s bubble-like presence indicators not only indicate whether someone is online and available to chat, the size of the bubble indicates how active the user is on the system. There also a a re-positionable dropzone added to the edge of the screen that makes it easy to share links and documents on Convofy just by dropping them onto the dropzone. The dropzone is active even if the main Convofy is minimized, streamlining the process of sharing items.
Convofy is available as an Adobe AIR-powered desktop application; it will work on Windows, Mac and Linux. Mobile access is also catered for via a mobile-optimized web app; it doesn’t have access to all of the fancy collaboration features, but should enable users to stay up-to-date while they’re on the go.
I’ve only had the chance to briefly play with a demo of Convofy prior to its launch but I have to say that I’m impressed. It’s a slick app, and the built-in contextual features should make it into a very capable collaboration tool.
You can sign up at the Convofy homepage. Free accounts are available now, while Pro accounts, which should be rolled out in a couple of weeks, will cost $5 per user per month and will include access to additional administrative tools, such as the ability to moderate content and block users and domains.