Look out, Snapchat! There is a new hot messaging app blowing up with among teens and high schoolers across the country. Jott, a messaging app that works without a data plan or WiFi connection, plays to the needs of always-on teens who are short on data plans. According to co-founder Jared Allgood, the app has doubled its active users to half a million in March alone, while continuously adding 15,000 to 20,000 users per day.
The app circumvents the need for Internet connection by creating a mesh network based on Bluetooth connections to relay messages among users within 100 feet of each other. Similarly, FireChat, a messaging app that also works on mesh network, became a surprise hit during Hong Kong protests last October. While apps operating on mesh network certainly have some limitations in terms of range and stability, they do provide an intriguing alternative that excels in its community-based independence, free from carrier controls and common privacy concerns, which, contrary to popular beliefs, the Gen Z users do care a lot about.