BookMyShow’s app will now let users plan ahead for shows, movies and events with friends, family, etc. within the app. Its new ‘Plan It’ feature accepts a user’s contact book data to connect with other users with a BookMyShow app. Plan It works like an instant messaging app, but with the ability interact with other app users in real time, suggesting movies, showtimes, venue options and eventually completing a booking. The feature is live on both iOS and Android users.

App users can also either initiate private one-on-one conversations or create a group to start discussions. The group chat feature works similar to WhatsApp’s group chat feature, wherein a user can add multiple contacts. Other features on Plan It includes encrypted conversations, multiple conversation threads (or threaded conversations), and push notifications. It also displays the “typing…” tag when other friends are typing and displays online/offline status of friends.

BookMyShow app users will need to update their app to the new version for Plan It. Existing Plan it users can also introduce this feature to other friends by sending out invitations via Facebook, SMS, email, etc. The company said that over 75% of its bookings come from mobile.

BookMyShow mobile updates

 The Plan It feature is one of BookMyShow’s initiatives to retain users on Mobile—via mobile app as well as through mobile web. It had added Google’s progressive web app (PWA) feature on its website, allowing users to fall back to a lite version of the site due to connection troubles/low speeds. The PWA feature transforms BookMyShow’s mobile website into executable pieces which are put together as mobile app. The new site also features curated user recommendations.

Plan It seems similar to Flipkart’s now-defunct Ping feature. The feature allowed users to talk to other Flipkart users within its own application, instead of allowing discussions to happen anywhere, on any platform. But it was shut down later due to low traction, and at that time, we pointed out that this is due to the fact that shopping apps cannot be used simultaneously as chat apps. BookMyShow’s chat feature also doesn’t make much sense, since discussions between friends can only take place if all participating users have the app installed simultaneously. Probably an executable link to a temporary group chat might help–this is something similar to “Skype Preview“.