Want a unique social network for your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad? No, I’m not talking about Facebook, Myspace or Live Journal. Instead, check out Groupie, a hot, new iOS social network app to connect, share and meet others online with similar interests.
Groupie is basically a social network app for iOS users, with a focus on unique user-designed “groups” for sharing, discussing and meeting others with similar interests. You’ll need to first register an account, and then you can start browsing on Groupie for friends and groups, or even make your own groups! Groupie also has an interesting reward system to encourage active participation, with “Fame” points” (almost like leveling up in World of Warcraft) accumulated through various actions on in the app. Get more fame points and your profile is upgraded to a different ‘Groupie’ level. Your profile also features your ‘clout’, ‘exposure’, ‘popularity’ and ‘likes’ rankings. There’s a built in leaderboard that shows top-ranked members of Groupie (For the record, I have around 50 fame, while the 1st play member has 33,800+ fame at the moment).
Groups are setup like online discussion boards and members can chat over a wide variety of topics. Furthermore, users can use Groupie to connect with people in their immediate, local area, using the ‘local’ groups tab. It’s an interesting program and definitely a popular one, judging by the many members and active groups.
Adding new groups and friends is even easier than Facebook. You can even create your own group on Groupie, with options for it to be private or public, global or local, and categorized from one of many different categories. Also, the local feature is pretty interesting and probably quite useful for those living in densely populated areas (major metropolitan regions, college campuses, etc). It allows you to see user groups in your area, based off of your iOS location service (have to turn this on for it to work). You can view groups based on Popularity, Random, Date Added, or just search for them on your own by keyword or Groupie ID#. It’s all very easy to setup and access, although
Groupie displays like a slick version of YouTube-polished, great color contrast (blue and black theme by default), plus with random group icons that may or may not fit in (just like the screen grabs showcasing different YouTube videos when you browse that video hosting website). The little Groupie icon is great, really well-chosen symbol for this friendly app and stands out nicely. The live map feature was a real plus, I enjoyed being able to see the general breakdown of users on different groups across the world (from a quick survey, it appears Groupie is predominately popular with USA users, although there are many users in Europe, and a few in Asia as well). Photos and other images are viewable both in thumbnail and in full-screen form, with zoomable options (very useful for my photography group on Groupie!) Overall, the interface is great and feels like a lot of work was put into, both from a design and a graphics standpoint.
Ease of Use:
I didn’t experience any noticeable problems or run into any use issues while entering the world of Groupie. I was able to sign up (making a new account is a snap and hardly takes any time at all), figure out the controls without a help tutorial, and start adding friends and groups within minutes of downloading Groupie. Browsing different groups was a cinch and I quickly found several popular ones that fit my interest. The group’s discussion boards are displayed very similar to online forums and as an active forum user, I found these Groupie groups easy to access and use.
Groupie is available for the low, low price of free through the iTunes store. The many community groups, thousands of users, ease of access and social awesomeness make Groupie a terrific deal. As a wonderful social app, it’s nice to see it so wonderfully priced. Most of the groups and members (from a quick look) seem to be in the high school to college age crowd, but users of all ages should be able to find at least a few groups that interest them on Groupie. For those looking for a friendly and informative online community, consider downloading Groupie today.
Groupie iPhone app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 3.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
The iPhone app review rating: