It is a common frustration we share: your messaging app signals for a minute or longer that the person you are having a conversation with is typing a reply. A little while later all you find is an emoticon or two words and you wonder about what the person on the other side was going to say.

Beam is a new messaging app that will reveal what your friend is typing, letter by letter as they type. The app is now available for free download in South Africa following the initial launch in only a few countries late last year.

VP of marketing for the messaging app, Tania Hew, describes the messaging app as one that ”…mimics the way we conduct verbal conversations”.

In her reply to questions from htxt.africa she added, ”This means that  you can see what a person is typing as the person is typing and you can interrupt their texts and chime in with your own texts too, all in real time, just as you would in a verbal conversation.”

Hew claims that this method of texting is unique to Beam.

She also revealed that Beam is continually adding new features to the app, like the recently-added online presence indicator. With it, Hew says, you can tell if your friend is on Beam reading your message as you type it, or if s/he is away from the app.

Features like group chat will be added at a later stage. An iOS launch and Android redesign are also on the cards in the next couple of months.

The app is doing fairly well in other markets according to Hew. Beam became available in Nigeria less than a week ago, did a bit of marketing and is now already ranked in the top 50 communication apps in the country, close to breaking into the top 25.

“In India we have jumped 150 places in the app rankings since we started. We expect South Africa to also show great growth.”

This app is probably worth a shot. Be on the look out because online marketing for the app, targeted at South Africans, begins this week.