Many of you who have been in contact with me for some time now would agree that I’ve been consistently stressing on the fact that experiencing an online meeting or a casual ping for a birthday or any other occasion does not really help or replaces the need to meet face to face. This is my personal belief, and at one point, we all come to terms with the fact that had we known each other better, maybe things would have been so much more better off.
Some may agree to what I’ve just said, some may not. At the end of the day, what matters most is how your relationship with someone else has been better than what it was yesterday. And if that happens by a small gesture of saying “hi” once in a while without any reason, and just making the other smile out of nothing, you’ve made your mark.
So while there are many applications and social networks that help keep us all connected, they also tend to keep us glued to the limited sized screens in front of us, be it your PC / Laptop or your mobile phone (even if its smart, it won’t make your friends pop up right in front of you 🙂 ).
I’ve been experiencing the user of FourSquare, Twitter and Facebook with their added location tagging features, and other 3rd party apps that have been around and do quite the stuff that I’d expect of them when it comes to bringing people closer (virtually, I mean). Though there was always one part remaining, how to actually get in touch with those without having to really sign up with an new service. You’ve all soon how FourSquare let’s people check in to their locations, but what happens after that? So that’s the problem.
In comes face2face with some of the things that I’ve actually been waiting to see, all in one place. Not only does not require me to sign up to a separate service, it instantly let’s me authenticate through my preferred social network and voila, all my friends and their friends are visible to me. In most cases, I already know or have had some interaction with my friends’ friends, or if not, at least I know them by name and at times what they do. So it’s sometimes a good thing to catch up with those generally unknown but socially known people whom we don’t get to interact every other day.
What’s more, instead of tweeting away or updating my Facebook status to tell where I am and if anyone’s around, if any of my contacts is using face2face, I can see them online and directly chat with them without even having to separately sign up to a chat service. I can even see them in my proximity, the BlackBerry home screen shows the number of people that are near by and if I can chat with them too. And it takes care of a few things that everyone would want to see.
The interesting part is that since I’ve downloaded the app at the time of its launch, I’ve already received an upgraded version, which adds a Coke Studio widget to the mix, so now I can directly download songs in audio and video to my handset, and even mark as favorite if I want to. All 3 seasons with their relevant episodes are available and for the running season, each episode is updated on run time.
What I like about the venture is the risk that was undertaken to prove a point, that always dare to dream and do what no one else would do, and more importantly, trust your instincts and your gut feelings.
Here are a few screenshots I took from my BlackBerry handset.
The iPhone version is quite slick in its user experience, and I’d recommend that you see it for yourself. On another note, Umair did point out that the Android version of the app, the updated version due soon, will be something to witness. So all you Android users should be getting the experience that none of the other handset users will get 🙂 For the moment, here’s a look at the iPhone interface, without getting into much detail.
I haven’t quite included information of the organizations behind it, but I guess you can go their websites 🙂 However what I’m excited about is that it’s developed in Pakistan. Nothing makes me more happy that this product is made right here in the city of Karachi by our own people, though the company behind it is of course US based, but hey, we do great work here in Pakistan, and we should have every reason to be proud of it 🙂