I was recently informed by one of our readers that a new social network has been launched. After knowing that it is a ‘Made in India’ product, I gave it a try with an open mind. And I must say Vebbler – a private social network has impressed me for its neat and elegant design along with the required features for a social network.
Major features of Vebbler
Vebbler, right now is an invite based social network. The network has no social logins and instead has a quick two minute old style login page. One may debate that social logins help driving crowds from the popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter but at the same time it leads to a lot of spam too. Perhaps the startup would like to incorporate the social logins going further.
Once you fill in the required details you land up on a clean platform. It will take a few minutes before you get accustomed to the sleek design and the layout but once you are, I am sure you will be hooked for some time.
The major features of the network are – Home , Profile, Photos & Connections, Waves and Social Search based on Interests, People, etc.
The Home page is your social feed where you can see all your updates along with the activity being performed by your c;onnections. Initially I was confused since this is a new network so chances of finding strangers were more. The network has resolved my problem you can put a certain connection under categories like – Friends, Workmates, Family and Acquaintances. I added a few under the section of acquaintances and if you are still not comfortable then you can ‘Follow’ a certain profile. Vebbler has the best of both Google Plus and Twitter in one go.
Once I added some people and followed few of the new faces, the Home page was looking attractive. The Home page also allows you to sort according to your connections. The below screen grab should give you a quick hint of the page.
On the top of the page Vebbler has two action buttons – Add Status and Add Photo. Both are self explanatory. What I like about both the actions is that you control how you want to share the message with the world. You can share your latest home party snaps only with your friends while making a status about a famous quote public. So on Vebbler you control your content.
One can show a liking for someone’s status by commenting or clicking on the star icon. However, it would be interesting if both the actions – adding status and photos could be merged.
Profile page, as the name suggests, gives you certain options to make your profile attractive. Check the below screen grab to get an idea of my profile page. Looks neat, right?
You can add a lovely cover page like I have done, one can add personal details if you have the patience, I gave up after adding the basic ones. The Profile page gives a quick overview of your connections and the activity stream that you have performed on the network.
Photos & Connections are two interesting sections that need a mention for the way it has been implemented. A personal social network is mostly about lovely photos and once you click on the Photos option, you have a screen that pulls up all your Album Photos. Tagged Photos show you the images in which you are tagged and Upload Photos allows you to upload images from the computer. You can drag and drop images and at the same time decide the connections that should see the images.
Connections feature gets the same care. You can filter your connections and at the same time check all your Followers, Pending Requests, People May You Know, etc. at one go. The design makes it really simple.
Waves or the new Hashtags tell you what are people talking about on the network. You get to see all the waves on your Home page and also the ones you have followed or created on your own. Add this symbol ~ before your word and your wave in created.
Click on any of the Waves, like I did for ~day1onvebber and not only can you see the conversations but at the same time you get to see some useful insights. A feature that Twitter is still thinking to introduce. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the selected wave.
You can follow it or you can join the discussion that is happening. You also get to see some insights about the wave and the related links, photos shared. Waves is a great way to join in conversations and based on that you can connect with interesting people.
Social search based on People, Interests and Posts is another exciting feature. The search bar is right at the bottom of the page so it might take time to locate. Once you search something, like I did for the latest Bollywood flick – Chennai Express, I was shown results categorized depending on People, Interests and Waves. The search also pulls up Public Posts related to the search in one shot.
The same tool bar has the options to go to the various screens such as Home, Profile, etc. You also get to see your entire list of notifications in the tool bar but they move in a horizontal way. The network also gives you a complete hold of your account and privacy settings.
How good is Vebbler?
Design and user experience: In one word it is ‘Super’ to be on Vebbler and the network has been built with a lot of love like most of the startups do. Having used the network since the last two days and not finding a single glitch has made my experience on Vebbler a breeze.
It is not often that you see an Indian social network startup pouring its heart out for design so this is doubly exciting. I am sure here onwards the network will become more awesome with time since it is still in beta.
Features experience: The features that are present on the network get you the best of the world. While you can decide with whom you want to share your content you can also follow people rather them adding as a connection.
‘Waves’ is a great feature that keeps the user for a longer duration on the network. A right place to be involved in discussions and make new connections. Finally with the social search based on interests, the social network becomes complete.
For a product that has been out just for a month and with its clean design and required features, Vebbler could be the Indian social network that we have been missing. Though it has a long way to go before we compare it with the big fish, the 23-year old serial entrepreneur, Sahil Bhagat is well aware. It would be great to hear from the founder to know what the road ahead for the personal social network is.
So before you say, ‘Oh no another social network!’, do give it a try; I am sure you won’t be disappointed.