As social networks have grown larger and more inclusive they’ve become bloated – filled with spamming posts and unknown “friends”. Designed for city dwellers, City Gossip offers an alternative to the size and clutter of other social networks. By basing their community on city-location the news stays local and relevant. Can City Gossip garner the support required of a social network and establish themselves as the local alternative?
Originally released on the European market in April, Windows Phone users enjoyed a new social experience that allows them to converse on topics only related to their own city. Now the US marketplace is also receiving the developer Ip-app’s Windows Phone app store debut – City Gossip.
City Gossip targets the city-dwellers who want to share their ideas, events, and local flare to others in the area. This aims to offer a more personalized experience with news and events in the area.
Many of the standard features of social networks are present: Posts, Boards (their version of blogs), and photo sharing. Posts are status updates, shout-outs, or rants available to everyone first thing upon opening the app. After catching up on the local happenings, a trip to the Boards will show continued conversations – or miniature blogs. These Boards can be viewed by Favorites, Top Rated, Users, or Recently Commented. Those interested in seeing how their own works are being received, can even keep track of their own posts.
While the photo sharing option still sports the beta tag, it operates surprisingly quick and consistent. Sharing photos and descriptions can help kick off a conversation for Board posts. The ability to add photos to Boards, or add tags to photos are two features conspicuously missing.
Perhaps its due to the lack of users, but City Gossip features load at a surprising pace. The lack of users constitutes the greatest weakness users will currently encounter. A social application isn’t very social without users. Being based on a users city limits the size of the potential population to a very niche audience. Being limited to only mobile phone users continues to limit the population.
Every network has to start somewhere. One benefit of a smaller network is the ability for users to stand out and friends to have their own environment to communicate in. Those who recognize an opportunity in City Gossip can not only be an early adopter, but help improve their own experience. A community of this size – plus early adoption – also affords users the opportunity to reach out to the developer and offer suggestions to help improve. These improvements help the user and can help generate new users simultaneously.
What we like:
Getting in on the Ground Floor – As a new social network on the Windows Phone Marketplace City Gossip offers the unique opportunity to be there at the very beginning. There is the potential to shape and lead the local community in such as way that only a new social network can offer.
Local and Personal – Since user accounts are location-based the experience can be personal not only to each user but to their city. Create a Board to promote the city’s renowned art selection, review local cuisine, or create a guide to historical sites in your city.
What we don’t like:
Not very social, yet -The ecosystem is pretty bare. It’s understandable that the numbers aren’t there, having only come out recently and only on Windows Phone. Being location-based has the down-side of limiting the pool of potential users
Beta Feel - The City Photo section still features the beta designation, but the bare look adds overall beta feel. When accessing Settings there was a set of code shown – though no detrimental effects occurred, seeing code is not an something that should occur.
The potential for growth and personal customization make City Gossip stand out from the plethora of social networks. While the lack of users and some starting pains will deter most users, those who stick it out might just be rewarded with an experience they’ve been lacking. City Gossip can be described in one word: Potential. Only time will tell if the app will live up to it.
Score: Try it?
City Gossip is available for free on the Windows Phone Marketplace here or you can scan the QR Code: