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Free App Satisfies a Text Obsession Freespeech co-founder Greg Neufeld didn't like the messaging app for the iPhone--so he created one.

By Joel Holland

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When college students say they're obsessed with texting, they're likely referring to sending abbreviated sentence fragments ending in acronyms or sideways smiley faces. But 26-year-old Greg Neufeld's obsession ended with something far more rewarding than LOL: an app that drew 10,000 users in its first six weeks on the market.

Studying entrepreneurship and finance at Babson College from 2002 to 2006, Neufeld was a student during the dawn of popular texting. He was always in pursuit of the "latest and greatest phone." But his quest became more difficult when he realized his loyalty to his favorite texting program, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), was holding him back from his ideal platform: Apple's iPhone and its iOS operating system.

Together with Syracuse University computer science graduate Jason Fertel, Neufeld imagined an iOS-based messaging app that provided enhanced features similar to AOL Instant Messenger and BBM, as well as advances in group messaging--without expensive texting fees.

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