MANILA, Philippines & SAN FRANCISCO, April 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Open Garden and The Inquirer Group announced today a new partnership to serve mobile users on FireChat, the free mobile app, created by Open Garden, that works off-the grid without access to the Internet or cellular networks. The Philippine Daily Inquirer was established in 1985 and is the country's most circulated and respected broadsheet.
In one of the world's most dynamic mobile and social media markets, FireChat will enable the Inquirer to serve real time news on topics including sports, celebrities, and politics. With FireChat, Inquirer will reach its readers with unprecedented immediacy and interactivity, directly on their mobile. FireChat's enables topic-centric conversations between as many as tens of thousands of people simultaneously.
FireChat and The Inquirer Group will explore other opportunities for collaboration, including 'off-the-grid' messaging for commuters on the MRT or Metro Rail Transit, part of Manila's public transport network. The Inquirer Group serves MRT's users in print with the free bilingual paper Inquirer Libre. Other uses of FireChat for the Inquirer will include the group's branded job fairs, where as many as 300,000 candidates look for practical information and updated listings.
When used online, FireChat will allow The Inquirer to continue reaching the large Filipino community globally as it has done successfully for years, with even more immediacy, through its online news site, Inquirer.net.
"We see great potential for FireChat in the Philippines and are thrilled to explore this potential with The Inquirer Group, one of the largest and most respected media groups in the country. FireChat allows mobile users in high-density, under-served urban markets to communicate without relying on centralised networks, which is our mission globally," said Micha Benoliel, CEO and cofounder of Open Garden.
"We are excited about working with Open Garden, the pioneer in peer-to-peer mesh networks, and giving Inquirer Group readers another way to experience our real-time, interactive news on their mobile phone. We look forward to meaningful, real-time conversations between our editorial teams and our readers in the Philippines and globally," said JV Rufino, the Inquirer's Director for Mobile.
The new FireChat is available for free in the App Store and Google Play. You can visit this chatroom for a live discussion about the upcoming Manny Pacquiao - Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing mega-event here: firech.at/PacMay
FireChat demonstrates the benefits of the mesh networking technology developed by Open Garden Inc. Launched in March 2014, FireChat has reached the top 10 amongst social networking apps in 124 countries around the world. FireChat enables people to send messages and photos to people around them, even when no Internet connection or cellular phone coverage are available. This is particularly useful in situations without reliable connectivity such as sporting events, public transportation and trade shows as well as in markets with rapidly growing smartphone penetration and limited network infrastructure.
About Open Garden
Open Garden is a San Francisco-based startup dedicated to connecting the next 5 billion mobile devices with peer-to-peer connections by leveraging the increasing density of mobile devices. In March 2015, Open Garden won the Interactive Innovation Prize at SXSW and the Financial Times' Boldness in Business Award.
About the Inquirer Group
The Inquirer Group is one of the country's largest media groups with several print facilities and a large network of reporters all over the archipelago. In addition to The Philippine Daily Inquirer, the most influential and widely circulated broadsheet in the country, it owns a sister publication in Cebu, a Tagalog daily, several magazines and a radio station, leading online news portal Inquirer.net, and the Inquirer Plus digital newsstand for tablets and smartphones.
It is a member of the Asia News Network, a network of over 20 dailies around Asia that commit to facilitate reporting across the region by sharing content.
SOURCE Open Garden