For those unfamiliar with hop, the idea is intriguing. The app basically turns email threads into real-time conversations by offering an interface that not only feels more like mobile messaging, but also works like iMessage or chat, where you can even see when another person is typing.
The app blends much of what’s expected in an email client, like subject lines or cc:/bcc: fields with its messaging-like interface, while also supporting things that are more common in consumer communication apps, like photo sharing, voice or video calls.
Hop currently allows you to add your existing email account (or now accounts) from top services like Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, or Aol and then be alerted the moment new mail arrives.
In practice, hop makes more sense for a younger, consumer audience, who may use email only occasionally, or when absolutely required, rather than someone whose inbox is inundated with dozens or hundreds of new messages per day, many of which require a more professional response than a quick “chat-like” reply.
That being said, it’s hard to knock this Tel Aviv-based company’s ingenuity in trying to rethink email for the mobile age. But whether or not a large majority of email users actually want their email to work more like SMS remains to be seen – hop today isn’t disclosing exact user numbers, only saying it has “thousands” of hop customers.