iPhone App Review: igobubble

iPhone App Review: igobubble

March 23rd, 2012 by

New ideas in social networking apps are rare, most of them piggy-backing off of Facebook to create a smaller group of like-minded people walled into a specific app built around that purpose. New app igobubble is a truly novel idea in social networking, tying content to geography and allowing your creations to be carried throughout the world and shared in organic ways not possible through a traditional social network, letting you meet people that are not connected through any of your traditional social networks.

How It Works

The concept is centered around bubbles, which you create and release, and which can contain a message, photo, video, or song. Create a bubble and release it, and it remains there for others to find through the app. Anyone that touches a bubble is connected to others that have touched that bubble, creating a social network around the content (and allowing you to chat for free with anyone in the chain). You can pump up bubbles you like, making them grow and helping them to thrive, or even save it in your backpack to carry around with you. According to the developer, “…bubbles can grow, shrink, divide, pop, and go completely viral.”

When you enter an area that contains other bubbles, they will show up on your “Nearby” screen, floating around and waiting to be interacted with. You can also track your own bubbles on the Tracker screen, and view a Google Map that shows an overlay of nearby bubbles that you can try and find. Each bubble also contains a list of People that have interacted with it, which essentially becomes a free chat channel centered around that particular bubble. You can then follow people within the app that you find through bubbles.

Pros And Cons

The concept behind the app is truly unique, creating a layer of content in the world around you that is invisible and waiting to be discovered through the app. Connections between people can be made based on something besides a tenuous connection of “friends”, by connecting with people that have touched your bubble (who would presumably be people that are somewhere relatively close to you geographically). The app has the potential to go beyond just dropping pictures around the world and waiting for people to pick them up, you could even build an entire event or game around zooming through the city and looking for bubbles.

Another noteworthy feature is the image editing included within the app for posted photos. It uses the excellent online image-editing app Aviary, and allows basic image manipulation as well as adding text onto the photo itself.

As with any new social networking app, the only thing that stands between it and success is users. The igobubble app lets you log in with Facebook, making the barrier to entry low and giving it easy potential access to millions of people. It of course can post to your wall, which can be a pro or a con depending on how you feel about it, but that feature can be turned off from the settings within the app.

Overall

igobubble is a fun and truly novel social networking app that has a ton of potential, given a critical mass of users. Even without millions of followers, a small group of people can all download the app and start having fun with it in a smaller setting, leaving messages and photos for themselves or others and creating a game of discovery. The app is free, so there’s no reason not to try it out.

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