Look! There's a new social media app! And another! Wait, where is everyone and why aren't they using this?
This is a post dedicated to the handful of decent apps which haven't scored highly in the regular viewing of anyone I know at all. Perhaps these creations are yet to prove their worth to users, or should frankly attempt to call back after the first date.
(launched June 2010, funding of $6.74m, 1.2 million users)
Once called Opinionaided and focused on shopping, Thumb is for crowd-sourced opinion. If you've ever Tweeted with "#askTwitter" or asked Instagram if one pair of glasses look better than another, Thumb will be a great option.Ask a question, post an image and send it off to the 1.2 million other users who can answer in the affirmative, negative or neutrality, as well as leave written comment responses to your question, to which you can message the voter privately to follow up.
There are many categories of questions, so you can filter your feed of questions to vote upon, as to avoid the many which aren't questions at all. No one can expect deep, life-changing questions here. I asked if anyone played music and got 58% 'no,' and 63% negative for my question on arts/crafts. A large portion of the pool asks if they are attractive, so prepare yourself for the selfies.
I also got a notification today informing me that my ad-free experience would end soon. You can upgrade for $2.99 to avoid ads.
The idea behind Thumb is intriguing, and I would love to see it grow soon, but until it amps up efforts to create meaningful connections. Thumb's average user engagement time is about five hours per month, but I've not even spent 30 minutes on it yet, merely because not a single person I know or currently chat with online uses the app. People mostly prefer the opinions of existing contacts, so until Thumb grows enough for this to happen, I believe Twitter and Quora will remain the key networks for receiving real-time feedback.
(launched November 2012, funding of $2.5m)
This one has been featured in a lot of lists by big-time social media blogs but I am yet to see any actual interest in the app. Pheed's selling point is that you can do just that: monetise your content by means of a monthly subscription fee or pay-per-view. Posts are text, image, audio, video and live broadcast, and you can set a rating to your profile to ensure younger users don't find inappropriate content (84% of users are 15-25 and 86% are US-based).
Despite Pheed taking various 'top 10 apps lists' spots since launch and its hailing of being the new Twitter, I've seen very little use. The only item in my feed is a video posted five months ago, and I've but three subscriptions (all free). I'm not convinced of the design, which is mostly great save for the filtering icon hanging down a third of the screen from the right. Brands are (no doubt) jumping on board thanks to the paid subscription component, but I am not sure how successful it will be as part of a marketing strategy.
(launched March 2013, funding of $3m)
By far the newest app on this list, Whisper is practically the love-child of PostSecret and Instagram. You choose a photo from the web or your phone, throw on a filter if you so choose, then add a message over the top to share. The idea is genius, but also tacky and already takes place elsewhere, like on Tumblr ("leave me an anon confession!"), as well as the before mentioned PostSecret.
What I do like about Whisper is the app design. Frankly, it's a pretty app, save for the OTT-ness of posts with excessive text. There are only four font choices, and none of them are particularly nice, but the purple is a nice change from black or blue that most social media designs use. As you can also see above, you also set a PIN for viewing of your activity history, just in case that nosy friend of yours decides to wander through your apps.
Being a brand new app, I'm keeping an eye on Whisper - it's bound to ruffle some feathers.
Honourable Mentions: Path and Google+
I decided not to go over Path or Google+, although I'm sure many might have expected them to be on the list. Both have significantly larger funding behind them, and are active enough to have many regular users. Check them out if you're interested.