Layer allows developers to swiftly enhance their apps with the performance capabilities of IMs, and has just recently opened access to the service for all comers. The beta-testing period was launched way back in 2013 and came to an end not long ago, on 25 February 2015.
In addition to the public launch, the company has unveiled its new product under the name Atlas – a set of tools that gives you the liberty to easily integrate messaging apps, similar to iMessage, into iOS or Android applications.
The idea, developed by Layer, is that developers can embed the messaging app into their application by adding two software strings, hence, simplifying the process that would otherwise consume a lot of time and effort. Project teams will be able to focus on creating cool app features. Layer supports voice and text messaging, plus it can be used as a standalone app or as a part of an application, where communication is merely a minor component.
Immediately after the announcement of the service’s launch in 2013, the company received over 2500 team applications for beta–testing participation. Since then their number has quadrupled.
It’s a shame that not everyone was able to join in on the testing, since it was of a ‘behind closed doors‘ nature. At the moment, 1500 developers are using the service on a monthly basis, and their number is expected to increase after the app is released to the public.
Layer’s service cost depends on the number of people using the app. However, the company gives the opportunity to set up and launch the messaging app free of charge. After the application passes the ‘1,000 monthly users’ mark you will have to pay to use the service — starting at $99 a month. The amount will increase until it reaches the 25,000 monthly users threshold.
An interesting fact is that the more developers start testing the product, the more requests, regarding code samples, are sent to Layer.
“We initially created the app with the assumption that people will want the service and API for independent development of the client end”, — says Ron Palmeri, founder and CEO.
“However, we kept on getting more and more requests for a code sample, and that’s when we decided to focus our efforts on it to do some good in the world”.
Now the time has come for Layer to share its test results in this field with the rest of the world. Atlas is complemented with a UI, gives developers access to the source code of a product that is similar to iMessage, and can be used in the raw or tailored to fit your individual needs. You can change fonts, colors, or just launch it and use Atlas as a foundation for the creation of your very own communications service.
Every little thing is customizable in Atlas — imagine taking iMessage and creating your personal version of it.
The team at Layer consists of 30 people, who are financially supported by $14.5 million from Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, Homebrew, Data Collective and a number of other investors.