Hammer is a concept brewed by two brothers, Amit and Gaurav Khanna. Hammer is another of its kind ‘social networking’ site in India which promises to be different. How, you would ask? According to the website, Hammer provides a medium to connect people in order to get suggestions and opinions and ‘as quickly as possible’. Hammer is a global destination where people can meet new people and share instant feedbacks/opinions.
Speaking to us in an email conversation, team Hammer said that the founders wanted to create an application both for web and mobile which is simple to use, fun, yet meaningful. There are social networking sites which are used mainly to connect with family and friends but there is no way to get an unbiased opinion from users across the world, instantly. To address this issue, they developed Hammer. They also clarified that Hammer focuses on instant questions and opinions rather than definitive Q&A’s. In a country, where there is one thing which is free and in abundance (i.e Advice/opinions), will this concept actually make sense? Let’s find out.
The log in page of Hammer is a nice brown coloured interface. The chosen colour, as written on the site depicts an earthen hue, which reminds them of our existence and our connection with this very Universe. However, in the age where the Facebook/Twitter authentication is mandatory for a Web 2.0 design, I found it missing on the registration form. The network could have leveraged Facebook’s Open Graph technology along with it, when compelling users to sign in through Facebook which could have worked as a referral mechanism. The website responsiveness on my laptop was questionable at the time of review, with lags thrown at the selection of any option.
So, what can you exactly do at Hammer?
1. Share your question along with an image
2. Post a comparison between 2 things through a pair of images
3. View & share news from around you with everyone else, in a moment!
You can give opinions on any photo based questions asked by the community. The questions as of now can only be photo based and you can also ‘Like’ or ‘Dislike’ the photo. Although, I think a thumbs up or a thumbs down kind of design would have worked more for Hammer than a dual coloured ‘h’ to confuse. Hammer does not provide an option to skip the question when you don’t want to. I really think opinions should be based on user’s free will and not forced upon by the website. If I do have a post in front of me for which I would not like to give an opinion on (say fashion related), I would like the option of skipping the question because I am not much of a Fashion guy and my opinion would be forced rather than a natural one.
You can list for a ‘single opinion’ or a ‘compare opinion’ on the site. The ‘single opinion’ gives you the option to ask related to a single object (upload a single photo) and users can vote ‘for it’ or ‘against it’ to let the user know which is the crowd-sourced choice. You can either upload the photo or can search for it online based on keywords to comply with the posting standards. The comparative option is where you can compare two things against each other and let the users decide which can be a batter choice for you.
For example, if I am confused whether I want to buy a Galaxy S4 or an iPhone 5, I can post the pictures of both and ask for user opinions on what they think would be a better option for me to buy. The ‘News’ section lets you view the latest updates posted by the Hammer community and you can post your opinions around that too. You can add your own set of friends from Hammer and expand your network in Hammer. Images are distributed into different ‘Categories’ which you would have to select manually to surf through your related content. So if I am a fan of Gadgets and Technology, I can select the specific category and see people asking related questions in the domain I have an interest in.
Can a network like Hammer work globally?
I would say it can, but Hammer in its current state needs to improve a lot to be even considered for that position. The website can surely be more customizable where I can pick and choose which type of content I would want on my newsfeed/homepage (Based on the Category selection I choose) rather than random set of images.
The categorization of content can be a bit more organized. I found out many questions which were not related to the theme at all (Sports related question in Movie/Music Category). Again, the compulsion to have an opinion on every content thrown at us is ridiculous and should be made optional. And every post/question cannot be answered with a simple ‘Like/Dislike’ as sometimes there are instances where you might need a detailed explanation. Besides, Hammer also does not provide an option to disable or delete your account once you have created it. Why take away the freedom guys?
In terms of traction, the Hammer team tells us that the site has got some ‘massive traction and addiction from people all over the world’ but did not share the exact number of registered users. We did a quick finding on Alexa and found that the site is popular only in Gambia along with India from where it drives 88% of traffic. The Alexa ranking for India is 58,222 but we are hoping that with time it will improve.
Going further the site is also launching its official Android and Apple Store mobile applications for people to have access to this opinion based networking site on the go.
So do give it a try and let us know if this interests you.