There are already way too many social media and communication apps in the market for both Android and iOS. GupShup thought of a strategy to survive the competition and become a top seller in the market. They transferred their app existence from either of the niche, to an amalgamation of both.
It is a neat tool that shows 5 different panels on the top, and gives you the option to subscribing to some of the pre-existing groups in a very Twitter like manner the moment you log in. The first panel is a Facebook like homepage, where everyone’s posts are displayed.
The second panel is restricted to private chats, with one click to start a private conversation with anyone in your phone’s contact list.
The third panel is named activity and is like a log for all activity. The fourth is a panel for exploration, with sub-panels for ‘featured’ groups and ‘friends’. The featured section has groups on everything from jokes to sports to Ayurveda tips.
These groups have a one-click join button next to them, and once you join them you will see their posts on your homepage. The fifth panel is a dashboard to view and edit your profile, contacts and settings.
A 2.1 mb app, it only requires a phone number to register, and a user is registered as a group. You can write updates, as in Facebook, read other people’s entries as in Tumblr, subscribe to posts as in Twitter, and have private chats like in whatsapp. The app does not have features like changing themes and backgrounds as in Whatsapp, but the interface it is pretty neat. However, a slide feature between panels would have made it a little more user friendly.
Bandwidth usage is an issue, nearly double than that of Whatsapp which is the most commonly used app for communication (10 minutes usage on an Xperia phone was over an MB compared to an average of 600 kb on Whatsapp). This could be owing to the multiple panels and frequent updates of posts by subscribed groups. Another problem faced is if your screen switches to idle mode due to inactivity, when you come back to active mode, the app will reload all the data automatically instead of asking for a refresh. This is an unnecessary wastage of battery and bandwidth.
The app takes a hit where almost every app does, that for one to download and use this app, there has to be a good user base, and to develop a user base, users have to join in. In my opinion, the app, though it has a good interface, is pointlessly overcrowded, because Twitter and Facebook are nowhere close to being defunct. Since this app does not integrate any of the famous sites, it is more like a whole social media network by itself, which makes it far more difficult to take off than a simple app for communication.