Juicy Peach vs. Fellow Ello
So if you’ve been on the internet the last few days you may have already come across the new new juicy app Peach. It’s a social network where you can enhance your posts by tipping a magic words, which then lets you do stuff like search for a GIF or draw something.
Almost two years ago a different promising social network launched, Ello. It’s heavily focused on security and the privacy of it’s user’s data. You have two different streams, one for friends and one for “Noise”. The Noise timeline is used for people who post more often or post art, so the other “main” stream won’t get cluttered. When I first used Ello, I thought it was gonna be the next big thing, but nobody I know still uses it, including myself. Will Peach end up the same way Ello did, or will it grow into something delicious?
On the first glance you can already see how different the two are. When Ello first launched it was invitation-only, compared to Peach where everybody can sign up right away. Well, not all… Peach is currently only available on iOS, even though the devs have confirmed that they are working on an Android version.
Peach has done a great job in researching the target market because they know that people spend more time on social networks on mobile than they do on desktop. I mean, Snapchat doesn’t even have a desktop version and they are doing fine. Ello on the other hand launched only with a web version, their iOS app came out over a year later and the Android version is still in development. I’m a developer myself and I know how difficult it is to support so many different platforms, but for a social network it is crucial that they reach as many people as possible. Imagine reading up on this new cool thing and they don’t support your iPhone or Android. You can’t miss the chance of the momentum that comes with tech blog coverage, or you’re going have a really bad time.
Besides their different launching approaches, the design is also completely contrasting. Ello’s minimalist, black / white UI comes across cold and distant (at least for me). Personally I think they were trying a bit too hard being something different than Facebook or Twitter and ended up being boring.
By just typing the peach.cool URL into the address bar you get an idea what its about, fun. And I don’t mean the kind of Hilary Clinton fun, but rather the actual honest kind of fun. The network is named after an emoji, the site and the app are colorful and warm.
Another big difference between these two is the way they handle discovering new profiles. Ello has now a Discovery and Recommended stream, which I think they didn’t have when they launched. The streams do have some interesting posts, especially art, but the accounts themselves still post only every 10 days, even though a “re-ello” feature exists. This doesn’t really help my empty timelines. Back when Ello started out, I remember that it was kinda difficult to find people to follow, so my timeline was just my friends and I. We already had different ways of communicating, so there was really no need for us to use Ello.
On Peach you only have friends. There are no followers, no pages, just friends. You start out with either searching your phone’s contact list for friends or by adding them with their Peach username. As soon as you have enough friends added, a second stream can be accessed, called “Friends Of Friends”. The name says it, all friends of your friends are on that stream, so it’s really fast paced and it also gives you an easy way to discover new people. You can hide yourself from this stream in the options, but honestly, who isn’t attention greedy?
Peach just launched last week (8th January 2016), so they still have a lot of things to fix and stuff to add. It’s not even close to perfect, but its fun and that’s what social networks supposed to be about: fun.
To get back to the question I asked at the beginning of this article, will Peach rot like Ello did? I don’t know. But there is still a huge engagement on my Peach list and with the letdowns of other networks like Tumblr (removing essential features) or Twitter (changing and adding unnecessary features) it may be time for something entirely new.
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PS: The idea of this article wasn’t to criticize Ello. They made a really cool thing, and I actually hope they continue to improve it. Everybody has a different taste and the opinions stated here are solely my own.