It’s been an interesting week in the world of digital marketing and here at the office.
I was hanging out on #TheSMGirl Twitter chat with Cynthia Johnson Tuesday when they started talking about tsū and Ello … there I formally announced that I was protesting Ello because they STILL haven’t sent me an invitation to join. I was invited to join Google+ about a week into the Beta, so why was Ello making me wait? Seriously? I guess you could say I was digitally pouting.
Some nice gentleman offered to send me one of his invitations so I officially became a member of Ello yesterday. (https://ello.co/bjsmith). Even though I was protesting, I still had an open mind. After all, the proclaimed anti-Facebook network had to be pretty awesome, right?
Before I get to my first impressions, let me share this quote from the What Is Ello page on their site:
We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.
This is a key that I think many people miss before they start judging Ello. Why? Because Ello was never meant to be public. Some friends got together and made something so they could communicate with each other. When you build a network like that, you don’t care what the masses say. The people who belong to a close group like that are willing to overlook usability issues and a lack of bells and whistles.
The network was originally created by seven artists and programmers. I don’t know how many people they have working on this public beta version of the network, but if they still have a small team, that would explain many of its shortcomings.
Please keep this in mind as you read my first impressions …
Ello first impressions
This was my face after using it for the first several minutes.
So far, I’m not a fan. If you’re digging Ello, please leave a comment and let me know what I’m missing. I got in a debate about the interface on Twitter. Yes, I realize they’re in beta, but if you’re going to compete against networks like Facebook, you’d better bring it!
Honestly, I wanted to report on its awesomeness but I’m having a hard time looking past these things:
- No mobile app! How on earth can you launch a social media platform without an app? The experience on my iPad was downright painful. I tried to copy my profile info out of Twitter and paste it in my Ello profile … nope. It wouldn’t paste.
- The fonts. Yeah, I get it. It’s supposed to be edgy and cool, but the fonts just strain the eyes. This is the kind of thing many people don’t understand. They’re on a website for a while and start to feel tired or fatigued. It’s because someone picked a weird font and now their eyes are strained.
- The layout is crazy cluttered. I know it’s supposed to be “clean” blah, blah. It’s not and it definitely isn’t intuitive.
- What’s with the small links and icons? Not mobile friendly at all!
- “WTF” Yep, that’s how they titled their About section. Was Ello created by a bunch 13 year olds?
Ok, enough Ello bashing. I promise I’ll keep playing with it to see if it grows on me and I’ll report on the positives when they strike me.
By the way, if you haven’t heard of Ello before now, their claim to fame is they don’t collect and sell information about their users and they will never have ads.
tsū first impressions
Let’s talk about tsū, pronounced like the name Sue. Cynthia has been talking about this new social platform lately, so I finally broke down and signed up. You can find me at https://www.tsu.co/BJSmith_TBM.
So tsū does have ads, but they share the revenues with their users. You actually get paid to share content on their network. It’s a little bit of a pyramid-type deal since people in your tree get a cut of your earnings, but you don’t have to pay to get in. Say you create a post that earns money, tsū retains 10% to maintain their network and site, you get half of the remaining 90% and the other half is divided out among the people that referred you.
Let’s say you click the link to my tsū profile above and sign-up. You are part of my family tree. I clicked on Cynthia’s link when I signed up, so we are both part of her tree and so on.
The thing is, they want quality content and won’t tolerate abuse. tsū seems to be geared more toward a professional crowd. The interface is fairly straight forward. The iOS app is easy to use — I’ve used it to share a few posts so far with no problems. There isn’t an iPad specific app, but the iPhone version works just fine on my iPad. There’s also a tsū app for Android.
I can’t say where this will go, but I think tsū is one to watch.
Facebook Groups app first impressions
To top off my day of playing with new social media goodies, Facebook launched a new app specifically for Groups.
This was the highlight of my day. Seriously. Facebook hasn’t been my go-to social media platform for a while, but I found myself using the Groups app more than anything else over the past two days. There are a few professional groups that I love to engage with and this makes it so much easier.
The UI is clean and easy to use. It allows you to create groups, discover groups and most importantly, interact with groups you are a member of.
There are two negatives I have noticed, but they’re not deal breakers:
Posts that have several comments will have a link you can click to view more comments. I’m used to the normal Facebook app that opens the post and comments like they are on a new page. When you’re done reading, you tap the back button to go back to that group’s feed.
The Groups app doesn’t do that. Instead, it opens the comments inline and simply pushes the other content down. There were a few occasions where I thought I could go back to a group’s feed by tapping the “X” in the top right corner of the app only to find that it closed the feed altogether.
There’s no collapse or “show less” button once you expand the comments. You just have to keep scrolling down to get to the next post in the feed. This is a pain for posts with tons of comments. An Android user mentioned that they could use their back button to collapse. I can honestly say this is the first time I missed having that back button on my old phones.
The other little nuisance is I continue to get groups notifications in my Facebook app. The Groups app shows me notifications and that’s where I want to respond to them. When I look at my phone and see the red notifications on the icon, it needs to be everything but notifications from a Group.
Now it’s your turn. Let me know your thoughts on tsū, Ello and the Facebook Groups App by leaving a comment below!