Is Pownce the future of instant messaging?

[intro] An IM service, plus easy file transfer, plus neat Web 2.0 tricks could change the way you communicate online. Again. [/intro] When the fou

[intro] An IM service, plus easy file transfer, plus neat Web 2.0 tricks could change the way you communicate online. Again. [/intro]

When the founder of Digg announces a new Web 2.0 service, you can bet that people's interest will be more than piqued. So it was with a piqued interest that I took a look at Pownce.

Its catchline is simple: Send stuff to your friends. And that's exactly what it does – in a nutshell it's an instant messaging service that allows easy distribution of files, so you can send pics, videos and docs quickly and easily.

And anyone who's ever tried to do the same in MSN et al will know that it sucks the "instant" right out of the messaging, but Pownce promises that you'll be able to invite groups of friends to an event, send all your selected contacts your latest pictorial masterpiece and even upload and share pieces of music with them in the blink of an eye.

You can also create public notices a la Twitter, so that anyone will be able to read and respond to certain posts, but I reckon the best bit is the really rather lovely interface, which comes with loads of options to personalise and simply looks much slicker than anything that's come before.

It's invitation-only at the moment, so time will tell whether Pownce will manage to lure people from their old IM favourites – and that's a big task. I'll post back when my invitation comes through and I can test with my (one) friend...