It seems to Miles Cui, co-founder and chief developer of Shenbian that location-based service is so last year. Shenbian, the innovator of weibo-based social IM is pushing the frontier of mobile communication further by capitalizing on the social power of Sina Weibo and the realtime fun of ambient communication.

Courtesy of Chris Tow

The crowded Chinese mobile SNS market has been seeing so many new servcies sprang up last year, to name a few, immomo.com, qiyu.im, jimii.cn, shanju.com, zaizher.im and so on. They more or less share the similar features like location awareness, finding someone around you, free messaging etc.. All of those concepts originated from the Valley startup Yobongo, an ambient realtime communication app characterizes by location, realtime and mobile chat.

Shenbian, at the same time, differentiates itself from its peers in weibo-binding and group chatting. People who login with their Sina Weibo credential will be able to find other weibo connections (followed, followers) around them. And you can hands-down switch between private chatting and group chatting whenever you want. You can imagine its group chatting feature as a location-based Weibo-user-only chatting room. Something lacking from other mobile IM since most of them are one-on-one.