Status App: A WordPress-Powered Mobile Micro Messaging Service

As Matt Mullenweg predicted in the State of the Word address in 2013, this new year brings with it a growing excitement around building applications based on WordPress. The launch of AppPresser, the first mobile application framework for WordPress, produced a healthy buzz around the idea and now the community is primed for more.

Ryan Fugate, better known around the web as “@modemlooper“, has created a WordPress-powered micro messaging app for mobile. Status App is actually a WordPress plugin that creates a Twitter type micro blogging platform for mobile users at your chosen URL.


Want to try it? Visit this URL from a mobile browser:

The status updates are stored as a custom post type within WordPress and can be managed from the admin. Right now the app doesn’t include a settings panel. You simply activate the plugin and then visit your site on mobile.


Since Status App is technically a social app, why didn’t he build it with BuddyPress? Ryan explained his reasoning when he introduced the app:

This could have been an app for BuddyPress but I am targeting a different group of users. BuddyPress is for front sided social networks with lots of features. Status App is for the content creators of a site. If you have ever used Yammer then you can understand the need for this type of functionality.

For now, @modemlooper is completing more user testing on multiple devices before the beta release of the plugin. More features are currently in the works, including @mentions, favoriting, profile editing, private messages. He plans to release Status App as a free plugin with a commercial version available to include more settings and add additional features.

Check out @modemlooper’s TapTapPress blog for more discussions on developing mobile apps for WordPress. If you’re testing the Status App and can help with reporting any issues, get in touch with Ryan and let him know the type of device you’re using.

I tested Status App last night and found it to be ridiculously simple and enjoyable to use. Additionally, unlike using Twitter, you own your own data when you create your own messaging service. I believe it’s apps like these that will lead to the ultimate crumbling of the massive social data silos that feed you advertisements and blatantly disregard user privacy. Eventually, users are going to be fed up and will flock to simple private social networks like the kind you can create with Status App. We’ll be closely following the evolution of this app and will let you know when you can download the free plugin to create your own micro messaging service.


10 responses to “Status App: A WordPress-Powered Mobile Micro Messaging Service”

  1. Awesome idea! I’ll do some more testing with it and have some perfect use cases in mind.

    Is there any thought to have a web-based component to it, or use it only from mobile?

    I know Ryan’s usage idea is more focused, but to Sarah’s comment about the “massive social data silos” – I agree (or hope, at least) that users will eventually get fed up with the crap we take from the social media giants. And I’m all for owning our own data. My concern, however, is that users won’t see disparate, self-owned social apps as a solution, as it’s feasible that they might have to belong to ten or more different networks to collaborate with the different groups of people in their lives. I could easily see creating one for my family, a couple for community groups, likely several for various WordPress sub-communities, and so on.

    If there’s any hope for this kind of thing to replace our current social networks, we need some way to tie them together. Maybe a central web app (and/or mobile app) through which you could access the different networks. Of course, the problem there is, who runs the central app and where is the money coming from to keep it alive? So many questions, but not out of the realm of possibility.

    Back to Status App, specifically – Great work Ryan! I look forward to the additional features.

    • Awesome feedback, I know the issues with owning social data but having it open as well. There is a project that was created to address this issue. It never got mass usage because the current data silos are not too awful to use and the majority of people do not care that the data is not portable. Some apps/plugins etc. allow you to post to multiple networks simultaneously making it seem portable.

      When I add in the feature for private messages I will add in a way to display statuses on site. I’m using CPT for the statuses so the data can be manipulated in any way WordPress allows.

      I think networks should be separate as if they were groups. I’m waiting on JSON API to get into WP core before I would even think about adding multiple site access in app. I can see an option to add sites to a list and then a user in app can search for a niche “group” which is just a self hosted app.

      Baby steps…

  2. I think these are awesome first steps and absolutely a step in the right direction.

    As I think about it more, maybe there doesn’t have to be a central “portal.”. Instead, the user could pick one of their networks / self-hosted app as their “home network” and on that app, connect to their other apps via the API. In other words, the portal itself is decentralized. I’m thinking about this in a web-based fashion. As a mobile app, the app itself is of course the portal.

    I’m really excited to see this move forward!


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