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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

Not Quite Revolutionary: The Pippit App

A couple of weeks ago the creative forces behind two popular lifestyle blogs launched what they said was meant to be a “beautiful mobile community that bridges blogging with social media,” the new app called Pippit. Joy Cho of Oh Joy and Naomi and Josh Davis of Love Taza worked on the project for two years with the idea that social media compliments blog posts so why not put the two together in a useful, mobile way? As a blogger and a social media junkie (and admittedly a fan of Naomi’s blog) I decided to give the Pippit app a try.

Image Source: Pippit

Image Source: Pippit

I’ve been using the app for two weeks and overall I have to say that I am not particularly impressed. It’s a pretty, good-looking app that isn’t overly complicated to navigate, but it didn’t seem to do anything special that made much of a difference in my internet habits. As a result I found myself using it infrequently after the “new app” shine wore off and actually had to remind myself to use it so I could properly review the product. What did I not like about the app? Quite a few things.

1. Limited Audience

While the app is supposed to connect to other forms of social media (I have yet to get this to work,) it relies on blog feeds for the majority of user content and then, the registered users can take photos inside the app and post them but they don’t live anywhere other than inside the app. The only blogs you can feed are blogs of registered Pippit users. What this means is that even though the app is supposed to combine blogging with social media it actually doesn’t so a user still has to check in on their other apps or sites for those updates. More than that, though, a user still has to seek out the blogs that aren’t registered for Pippit. If Pippit is a bridge, it’s a bridge to nowhere.

2. It costs $2. Per year.

The Pippit app is ad-free, which is great. What’s not great is that it costs $2 to download and $2 every year to continue using. If an app is useful and integrates into my life I have no issue paying up to $6 for it, but having to resubscribe every year for an app that doesn’t really serve a useful purpose doesn’t sit well with me and more than that, it detracts from the app’s usefulness. I can follow blogs I enjoy on my computer or phone through feed services for free.

3. Not-So-Useful Features.

The app is designed to let you add additional information to your posts (which are called “pips”) that allow you to share links, more details, and other things. The idea is that if you see something on a pip that you like you can click on the dot and click the link to the website where you can buy it or get more information. You can also indicate how you feel about pips but clicking on “like,” “want,” or “useful” and thus create little detailed categories for yourself. These features are supposed to help drive traffic from the app to users blogs or stores and create revenue for them in that way. It’s a neat idea, but in practice it just feels jumbled and confusing especially as there are a large number of online storefronts that aren’t optimized for mobile shopping. I still haven’t figured out my little lists.

4. No sense of community.

On Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram I get to interact with people and have real conversations. Communities form. I’ve had some great discussions in the comments of blogs. This might be a product of the newness of the app, but thus far I have had no interactions or conversations in Pippit.  I’ve left comments, but nothing has really happened.  The space seems awfully lonely.

On the whole, Pippit seems like an idea that is already being done better by larger social media. Most blogs use some form of connection to social media to share new posts without having to leave more common feeds. Honestly, I can get anything I want to follow in my Facebook feed. If I want to stay strictly with my blogs I have a feed reader for that. I like that Pippit has no ads, but I don’t like the idea that I will have to keep paying every year in order to use it. I like that I can link things directly in photo posts, but if no one is really doing anything with the posts (and if most of my followers aren’t using the app) this has no value for me. Pippit breaks no new ground. I won’t be renewing my subscription.

Pippit is available in the iTunes store.

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3 Comments on “Not Quite Revolutionary: The Pippit App”

  1. ALS June 20, 2014 at 4:56 pm #

    The fact that the founders only follow each other and their minimal clique highlights the lack of community.

    I regret buying this app. I should have bought a banana instead.

    • Nicole Drum June 20, 2014 at 6:31 pm #

      That’s a good point you make, regarding the founders limited following. The lack of community on the app really is a big detraction.

  2. ALS August 6, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    So the app is now free.
    I have requested a refund through iTunes since I had deleted it a month ago.

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