I think that there is.
Facebook and Twitter are ideal for sharing messages and photos. Perhaps Twitter isn’t exactly a rival to Facebook due to it’s simpleness and lack of functionality compared to it, but it’s still incredibly popular.
As user-friendly and addictive as Facebook and Twitter are, there’s room for improvement. Facebook has introduced video-chat, but what if there was a social network where you could tweet voice and video messages instead of text messages?
Ok, so that’s not quite the same as Facebook, but it’s important to mention Facebook as it’s the leading social network in the world and is unlikely ever to be overtaken by anything else in that respect.
In or around 2005, Palringo was launched. It was a simple application, available across all platforms- I was one of the very early users of this.
You create a user account and then search for and join various groups, which are set up by other users and catered for different tastes. You can also search for and add users as contacts. Palringo, allows you to send a text message, an image or a voice message to a contact or a group. When I last used it, it was a very simple application and worked very nicely. One of my favourite features was the fact that you could set the voice messages from a contact or a group to play automatically. This was all right as long as you remembered that Palringo would do this because if you forgot, it’d scare the shit out of you when a voice suddenly came from nowhere.
I was a beta tester for Palringo and gradually, over the years, the ‘bridged’ services feature has been removed and the application just doesn’t work so well. I’ve just installed the Palringo application on my phone to pay a little visit again, but it wouldn’t accept my sign-in details (which I know are correct). I tried the “forgotten password” link several hours ago but as of yet, I haven’t received a reset email. And yes, I have checked my spam folder.
As I recall, I had several different Palringo accounts due to being a beta tester and at least one of those was mysteriously deleted. The Palringo website no longer has a section where you can log in, which is a bit crap. If I don’t receive my reset email, I don’t think I’ll bother with Palringo any more.
The reason I started to write this is because I stumbled across a new application called Just Sayin’, which Ricky Gervais has some involvement with and which is described as being “to radio as Twitter is to newsprint” (although there’s some confusion on the Just Sayin’ website as to whether Ricky Gervais said this or David Hayden; co-founder and CEO). I was viewing one of his podcasts and saw this video:
I’ve downloaded the Just Sayin’ application and immediately don’t like the fact that you can’t register with Just Sayin’ directly. It’s clear that at some point previously, this was possible, but now you can only sign-in using Facebook or Twitter. This means that you can’t choose your own user-name and get stuck with whatever the application picks up from Facebook or Twitter.
When you sign-in to Just Sayin’, you can change your profile image, change your display name and write a bio. You can also add tags, or keywords, that will be used when others are searching for members.
The best way to describe Just Sayin’, is to say that it’s a verbal Twitter, but with the added feature of being able to follow groups as well as users. When a picture, text message or voice message is posted by someone, or within a group that you follow, it appears in your timeline. The concept is pretty cool, but the application is a little messy; it could do with some tweaks to the UI here and there. The application is also prone to crashing, but then so is my Twitter application.
The only downside is the lack of active users on Just Sayin’. Whilst there are plenty of users, there aren’t may active users, so trying to find interesting people to follow is quite tricky at the moment. I really hope that it takes off, because the whole idea of a verbal Twitter is brilliant. I suspect that the thought of a 3D Twitter gives some people the creeps, but I think it’s a logical step forward.
The only niggles with Just Sayin’ is that it’s only available online or for iPhones and iPads. An Android version is due to be launched later this year. There’s no chance of this being adopted and taken seriously until a version is available for the most common platforms. In fact, I’m surprised it’s even been released whilst it’s lacking in this area.
The Just Sayin’ website, or specifically the “About Us” section is slightly unprofessional, untidy and contradictory in some parts. The video above plays automatically on the home page every time you load it, and Ricky Gervais’ high-pitched voice is enough to make anyone want to kick a small puppy or child.
A final annoyance with Just Sayin’ is that when you sign in, you’ll notice that you already have a follower- yourself. There’s no way to unfollow or block yourself, which seems a little odd. Maybe it’s a ploy to make every user feel important?
Being keen on the concept, I thought I’d provide some feedback to Just Sayin’ in relation to the niggles I’d discovered so far. This is when I discovered that Just Sayin’ is actually derived from CloudTalk.
The two applications are more or less identical. CloudTalk allows you to register directly as opposed to using Facebook or Twitter to sign in with, which gives you a lot more control over your user details. There appear to be groups that you can follow but I’ve been unable to search for other users, as every time I select “People”, the application crashes. Overall, I prefer Just Sayin’ over CloudTalk because it seems slightly crisper and easier on the eye. You’d have to try both yourself to understand what I mean.
Any new social network or application is going to experience bugs or flaws and only by people testing the services to the limit, will the developers be able to improve them.
It’s a shame that Palringo seem to have lost their spirit in creating a nice, verbal tweeting application because when it worked properly (and I could sign in), it was simple and intuitive to use; the UI was uncluttered and straight-forward. The fact that the last news update on the Palringo website was dated 17th October 2011 speaks volumes about the way the application is being taken forward. Just Sayin’ has huge potential and I really hope that people give it a chance. CloudTalk, in my opinion, isn’t quite as nice as Just Sayin’, but mainly because I can’t see that there’s any way to find other users.
We may be a little way off just yet, but in the not-so-far-away future, a new social network or application which allows us to quickly and easily speak to each other, will take the world by storm. Maybe it will be Just Sayin’, or maybe it’ll be something else that hasn’t even been released yet.
Can you see yourself talking to your followers?