TALKiT, the innovative, Palm Coast-based social media application whose developers say will revolutionize the way individuals and institutions communicate in real time, got its formal introduction to the Flagler County Economic Opportunity Advisory Council Wednesday morning.
TALKiT CEO Curtis Ceballos walked the nine-member panel through the application which, being unique–and untested in the market: it launches on Memorial Day–required a lot of assumption-clearing explanations so the council members could wrap their minds around the idea. In the end, Ceballos got the endorsement he wanted: “This is cool,” one of the council members said. “I just downloaded it.”
Originally profiled here in January, TALKiT seeks to bring talking back in a texting culture. Just as texts are snippets of brief communications that get exchanged billions of times a day, TALKiT would fill a niche with the same concept, but with texts made of voice rather than characters on a screen. Users’ messages consist of two or three sentences three to five seconds in length that would be sent out on a network where participants can choose to listen or not. The TALKiT streams through the network like a news feed, and stays there several hours before it vanishes, unless the user chooses to save the snippet to his or her profile. The message can be a private communication between two individuals, or it can be a message from an institution–a school, say, to its employees–or a message from a celebrity to a group of fans.
Ceballos said the Flagler County School Board is already on board to use the application, as will be the St. Johns County School Board. TALKiT will be available to users in a free version as well as a subscription version. The free version will include ads, providing a revenue stream to the family business: TALKiT’s core is Ceballos, his son and his daughter, who share various responsibilities depending on their strengths.
Naturally, the council was excited by the prospect of adding another company to the county’s growing stable of innovative firms. TALKiT, Ceballos said, will initially employ 20 people and will be located either on Hargrove Grade in palm Coast, where he hopes “to create a campus atmosphere,” or at the old Federal Aviation Administration training facility on Palm Coast Parkway.
James Ulsamer, a member of the council and a retired businessman, was curious about TALKiT’s projected market. “You can drive yourself crazy if you don’t limit yourself to certain markets,” he said, understanding that, once it’s out there, the application can have uncontrollable appeal among unexpected groups. “Who are you going to focus on?”
Ceballos said that other than institutions such as schools, businesses or local government agencies, artists, celebrities and older people tired of texting could all be potential users. But, he said, while the primary target is 18 to 25 year olds, “you can’t really put a demographic on it.”
Texas based software and app development company Rocksauce Studios has been coding the app since the beginning of the year. Rocksauce has worked with companies such as Disney, McDonald’s, Autotrader, GNC and much more. “TALKiT is the type of idea that comes along and you immediately realize it has ‘game-changer’ written all over it,” said Q Manning, CEO of Rocksauce. “Rocksauce was excited to help bring the concept to life. You’ll love this app,” he added.
TALKiT has scheduled its “International Release” as a special event on May 31 at Central Park at Palm Coast’s Town Center from 6 to 9 p.m. Meanwhile you can visit the app site here.