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Popcorn Buzz lets you call up to 200 people at once, but why would you ever do that?
This will in no way be annoying.
Communicating with your friends is sometimes challenging. Popcorn Buzz, the latest in a long line of apps from the Japanese communications company Line, wants to solve those problems. It lets you call up to 200 people at once so you can treat planning your night out like planning corporate strategy.
The new and perplexing service enters a crowded field of group-calling apps, but Line thinks it can distinguish itself with two features: the app is free, and it lets you talk to more people at the same time than you could want to talk to.
Line integration in Popcorn Buzz should make connecting to those hordes of people easy; Line has amassed over 200 million global users. You’ll have to register with Line to place calls through the Popcorn Buzz, but non-Line users can join calls through a URL. The app is available for Android now, with an iOS app promised soon.
Popcorn Buzz does its best to keep communication simple while balancing huge numbers of people on a single call. The app displays all participating users on the screen, and when a person talks, their icon lights up.
Line says Popcorn Buzz’s unique capabilities are useful for everything from making “a group call with your gamer buddies” to “hold[ing] a conference call with your business partners.” The company also suggests you should “share your daily life with your friends” through the app.
Try calling up as many friends as you can with Popcorn Buzz, and then—with no explanation—begin a rundown of your day. See how long they stay on the call.
Popcorn Buzz might catch on in the business world, where conference calls with large audiences scattered across various locations are common. Most of Line’s apps and services are geared more toward consumers, but its newest product might end up crossing over from the living room to the boardroom.
AJ Dellinger is a seasoned technology writer whose work has appeared in Digital Trends, International Business Times, and Newsweek. In 2018, he joined Gizmodo as the nights and weekend editor.