Social networks are evolving as interest based social networks. One wants to connect with like minded people based on their interests. Besides to pursue a particular interest one is more likely to follow it in her neighborhood rather than burn petrol and time for travel. Mumbai based startup Shaukk or ‘interest’ is a social network that allows you to connect to people with common interests and find activities to do in your neighborhood.
Shaukk, right now works only for Mumbai and in addition to an email login also provides a Facebook login. Once the authentication is over, the network asks to select interest areas. The next call was to add any of my Facebook friends present on the network and at the same time invite from Facebook to Shaukk. The bit lengthy signup process ends with taking my mobile number too. Wonder why is the network interested in storing user numbers?
Post the login process, the home page looks like this:
Interesting features of Shaukk
The network is divided into sections like – Plans, Posts and News. Plans lets you breeze through the activities that are being planned in a certain locality. One can change the locality to make up their mind. The suggestions are being provided by the interests that a user opts in for. A user can be a part of an existing plan or create a new one.
On further click of a particular plan, one gets further details of the activity along with people who have opted in for the event, activity, photos, location, etc. The said screen is much required for user info but has no easy navigation back to the earlier screen. A small but a pertinent issue from a user experience viewpoint.
Posts is a place where you can scribble anything related to a particular interest. Additionally you can comment on Posts of others while deciding the visibility level of content. But right now I see a lot of new faces in the Posts area who I don’t know. Wouldn’t it be good that the Posts area is of scribbles from people whom I know or have been added to my circle?
The News section provides you with latest content depending upon the interest area selected. All the required content has been curated from different publishers and blogs.
Another interesting feature is Groups that allows you to join communities in local areas. One of the groups that I found interesting was the Mumbai Hikers, a group that wants to explore nature. These groups have activity board, details of the members and section for photos too. The below screen grab gives you a quick look of the Mumbai Hikers group.
Personal profile details are displayed only when you click on the profile picture which is quite unusual. The profile details give a complete snapshot of the activities that you have performed on Shaukk.
How effective is Shaukk?
Early days for the network to grow and build on. Shaukk will become interesting with more and more traction. It is a community platform, the more people join the more activities are listed and the platform gets interactive. Also, the concept of an interest based network serving neighbouring areas is appealing.
However, the network needs to work on the design and user experience. Every time I need to go back I have to click on the logo to go back and forth. Site navigation needs attention. Additionally, if the home page could be less cluttered then it would be great for the user to operate.
It would be interesting to know how the startup is gaining traction and even great to have Shaukk on my finger tips? On Mobile?