India these days is booming with new social networks. Recently I came across another social network Flatparty. The news initially caught my eyes for the simple reason that the social network was inaugurated by Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor.
According to PTI, the social network Flatparty aims to provide an online platform for people to connect with friends and family. The site is managed and run by New York-based Flatparty and it claims to provide a unique experience in the social networking space with the latest technologies. After reading through the press note I was tempted to give it a try.
Interesting features of the social network Flatparty
The social network has a simple login very much similar to Facebook (sorry can’t help it since it was the first thought that came to my mind seeing the blue screen.) Wonder why the social network has not provided social logins via Facebook/Twitter/Google Plus. Anyway, once the email verification was done, I landed up on the home page. The below screen grab gives you a hint of the home page:
Again the home page reminds me of a design that the old Facebook used to have. The home page has a feed that will keep you posted about yours and your friend’s activities. You can edit your profile and make it better by filling up relevant information and the home page provides a list of upcoming events, list of new members whom you can connect and also a list of popular members.
The status message box on the home screen allows a user to share images, music, video and links. One can also like, comment and share a content.
The network has features likes Blogs, Forums, Polls, Events, Video, Music, etc. These features allow a user to make her profile interesting and at the same time grow the network too. Blogs allow you to write your blog posts while you can read other posts by members on the platform. Same is the case of Music and Video where you can upload content or provide references for content to be shared on the platform. Forums also give an opportunity to raise questions and start a discussion but then at the same time you have Groups too. These groups are based on certain interests but have very low activity right now.
Along with features like messaging, instant notifications, Flatparty has tried to be your complete network for all major activities.
Is it worth spending time on Flatparty?
Flatparty is simple and has a design that would have appealed to users two years back. In the age of compelling visual design Flatparty disappoints. Though the network has no glitches right now, it doesn’t get you excited to revisit it.
Although I don’t compare emerging social networks with the established giants, Flatparty has left me with no choice in saying that most of the design and features are a complete rip off from Facebook. Having features like Forums, Groups, Events, Polls can be exciting but the presentation will have to be drastically improved.
The network plans to come up with a mobile design and I hope that is more appealing than the web version. Recently I had reviewed Vebbler and despite the social network also facing a tough challenge from Facebook, the UI and UX will nudge you to come back once in a while.
Talking on the launch Anto Toms, CEO Flatparty had shared that “Flatparty is set to provide distinctive user experience and achieve leadership through innovative platform features, powered by superior technology, based on world-class research and development.” In addition to this he added, “The data of users on the social network is highly secure and is only available for users above 13 years old.”
I am yet to discover any feature on the social network that is ground breaking and developed by world-class research and development. I also want to know how the network is only accessible to users above 13 years old. At a time when social network giants like Facebook are struggling to solve the problem of minors accessing the network in the country, I am really not sure how Flatparty is managing it?
With 82 million users spending time on Facebook, the new bunch of Indian social networks will have to come up with some appealing and innovative ideas for users to hook on to their social networks. Right now Flatparty leaves me with no such desire and it will have to work real hard to come up to the mark.
Besides I really wonder if Shashi Tharoor has ever used the social network otherwise he wouldn’t have said – “Flatparty is a good concept and will help people and enterprises connect easily.”