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May 27, 2010 / Brandon Raper

4 Reasons Pip.io Will Take Over the World

Nothing has created more stress for development teams than the perceived necessity of an online community and digital media presence.  Some companies have tried to jump on the bandwagon, only to be redundant in the features and opportunities provided.  Google Buzz is the most recent social networking platform that dug its grave quicker than a hired expert could.  So what’s the next platform that will test the waters?  Is there even an opportunity for ANOTHER social networking site to reach success after Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Google Buzz, Digg, and the hundreds of other niche social sites have saturated the market?

In comes Pip.io.  Pip.io was developed around the same time as Google Buzz yet is still a small blip on the social networking radar.  So what’s different about Pip.io that would cause someone to sign up for another new networking site?

1)      Privacy

Facebook is undergoing mountains of scrutiny about privacy lately.  Last week Wall Street Journal has put its foot in the door, calling out sites like Facebook, Myspace, and multiple other networking sites on their privacy issues.  These issues include but surely aren’t limited to, sending all user data to advertising companies.  This data can be anything from actual names, age, hometown, and even occupation.  The big problem with the whole scenario is lack of consent.  Not to mention, the infamous “Facebook creeping” which I had to explain to my mother.

With that said, Pip.io has multiple different privacy controls that can either lock-down who sees or is connected with you, or even show all tell all via location based controls.

Some controls that immediately affect who you contact and connect with are the differences between subscribers and contacts.  A subscriber can see all of your public posts including replies, and a contact has permission through request to connect.  The advantage of being a contact includes access to online status, chat messaging, and even video chat.  Very similar to how Twitter reacts with followers and whom you follow, yet to be a bi-directional contact there must be consent between both parties, rather than the ability to auto follow.

2)      Chat Features

Facebook chat has become more of a hindrance than it is a positive.  I can’t count the amount of times that my “saved” Facebook conversation has disappeared, for no known reason.  I can’t count the amount of times I was writing an email to someone in another windowed tab, only to be sent a message on Facebook which immediately (who knows why), stops the ability for me to type in my email until I personally click on the newest message.  I’ll spare you my rant of other faults within Facebook chat, it could take a while.

And then there was light. Pip.io chat features, instant messaging, and video chat.  These features are far and beyond better than what Facebook provides.  The recent success of Skype has created a want and need within other platforms for video chat, and Pip.io performs.  Having video chat integrated into an all new social network is a stunning new development.  And although instant messaging isn’t new, Pip.io has perfected the option.  There are so many positives within the chat engine that you almost have to experience it to believe it.  The ability to save conversations is a new option not seen on Facebook and is highly appreciated in my World.  The ability to create a “chat room” for multiple friends to converse in brings back the initial internet days, where AOL chat rooms were almost a necessity.  If all of these options don’t get you excited then why are you still reading?

3)      User Interface

The user interface for Pip.io is stunning and by far the best UI of any social networking site I’ve seen on the web.  It takes some getting used to but you will appreciate everything you’re given in the first 10 minutes.

The top right contains your profile picture (which is horribly easy to update) and the ability to create a custom away message or even custom available message via rollover.  This feature is a fantastic addition as there are multiple times in Facebook that you may not want to be bothered, mostly because of the horrible typing interference it imposes in other windows.

Directly underneath that is a frame that consists of contact requests, unsorted friends, the ability to search for users, and the ability to create a new group.  These new groups make sorting friends incredibly easy and efficient.  For the people who do end up with thousands of friends and hundreds of differentiated groups like close friends, family, business partners, etc., organization and group creating becomes mandatory.

The UI is simply stunning, smooth, and creative.  The ability to customize your backdrop would be appreciated, but it works for now.

4)      Internal Feeding

My favorite part of pip.io is the infusion of Twitter, RSS feeds, and ability to feed group discussions into your “stream”.

Within pip.io, you are able to sign in to your Twitter account, tweet, direct message, retweet, everything you could do within Twitter itself including search for hashtags.  Another appreciated option is the ability to save hashtags and save searches for Twitter for future use.  Not only are you able to sign in to your Twitter account, you’re also able to sync your pip.io page with your Twitter.  This feature is one of the major reasons that pip.io could take off.  If there was a way to sign into multiple accounts like Tweetdeck, I would be in heaven.

Another sync option is for Facebook.  This application of syncing to Facebook provides 6 options for extra or limited privacy including the ability for Pip.io to sync to your email, sync your feed, friends, photos, profile info etc.  All of these can be allowed or not, further increasing the privacy options.

My favorite application and feature of Pip.io is the ability to sync your RSS feeds.  Within minutes, I was able to take over 20 bookmarks I’ve stored over the past and sync them through pip.io.  This may sound like it would be too much information, too many updates, too much clutter.  Completely wrong.  Your RSS feeds are completely separate from Twitter, Pip.io, Facebook, and whichever other groups you have joined or created.  Within the RSS tab is the ability to view all updates at once, or you can individually click each feed and see updates from most recent to oldest.  A simple click of any update brings you directly to the original website and article shown.

Pip.io is the most innovative, creative, yet simple social networking site I’ve ever seen.  There are a few things I’d like to see improved or added such as customizing the background, glitches with creating channels and unavailability of names, and implementation of more applications.  Currently you can infuse Twitter, Facebook, RSS Feeds, and YouTube which is far and beyond more than any other efficient networking site.

Although these features are outstanding, the UI is amazing, the privacy is outstanding and the ability to sync multiple networking sites is available, there aren’t many users.

If the only thing negative about a networking site is the amount of users and customization then count me in for the long haul.  Pip.io may end up breaking the mold of niche networking sites and becoming a feared competitor in a very short amount of time.

But for now I’ll be one of the few to start the revolution.  Join me at Pip.io, Search for Brandon Raper and I’ll gladly accept you as a bi-directional contact.

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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. docmedia / Jun 8 2010 6:26 PM

    facebook will always rule no network will beat facebook no will beat mar zuckerberg

    • Brandon Raper / Jan 11 2011 8:41 PM

      It definitely will be hard to beat facebook but I’m not sure it will be the top power forever. People didn’t think Myspace could be topped but it did. In due time I believe another network will have some sort of significant competitive advantage.

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