July 13, 2008 |
There's a lot to be said for simplicity. Simplicity can mean focused and directed, but it can also mean lacking. Reaching a balance of features and complexity while maintaining clarity and simplicity is a difficult task for any mobile social platform developer. Though I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, I think the best mobile social platforms will be ones that aggregate the most popular computer-based platforms natively as full-time applications run over the data networks of mobile handsets.
As I tend to cover mobile platforms around these parts, I was intrigued when I was emailed about Bluepulse, a mobile social platform that functions in many ways like Friendfeed. Bluepulse is a social platform designed to be largely exclusive to handsets (with support for computers available), on which users can share media files, post status updates, send messages, and more of the same you're most likely used to by now.
So, if this is just another mobile social platform, what makes it stick out so much that I was compelled to raise it as a potentially highly-successful mobile social platform? First of all, Bluepulse is no SMS-based service, something that I appreciate greatly. SMS-based messaging is quickly becoming antiquated as a means of sending social messages, something that Facebook intends to make obsolete in the near future. I give marks automatically for mobile social platforms that run over data and eliminates the reliance on SMS-messaging.
But Bluepulse isn't the first mobile social platform to do that either. The real selling point to me is the overall design simplicity and attractiveness. Aesthetically designed much like Twitter (with traces of Friendfeed), the program provides a steady stream of clear and concise updates from your friends. There's a lot that can be said for simplicity.
That isn't to say I'm sold. When visiting the website, there's only one page that discusses what the platform is capable of, with only one graphic of the platform in action. That tells me Bluepulse feels its strongest asset is a Twitter-like feed or that changes are being made to improve the platform from a rather lack-luster first showing. I would like to see exactly what I'm getting myself into before downloading any platforms, especially platforms that don't have well-established web presences like Twitter, Friendfeed, or Facebook.
However, my impressions (from the little I can see) is that the platform's simplicity and design elements could help it become a leader in a growing pack of mobile social platforms. It will be hard for any mobile-based social network with no well-established computer community to gain a following right now; however, in the very near future, I forsee many more users switching to mobile-based social networks with computer support. We're becoming a society that's constantly on the run — why lock yourself to a mouse and keyboard in your house with mobile support when you can have a mobile platform with at-home support? Don't forget — simplicity and functionality in balance is key.