Simple, pleasant, clear interface. Lets you upload pictures via e-mail or camera phone. You can specify users whose posts you want to watch. Automatically generates short URLs for long ones you enter.
No private groups. Limited picture size. Incompatible with Opera and Safari.
Just when you thought there were enough services that let you could spout off a sentence or two on your activities of the moment, the latest Twitter clone, called Yappd, arrives on the scene. The only real differentiator of this new service/site is that it lets you include pictures along with your nuggets of verbal inspiration. What’s more, you can append pictures to your text posts directly from your cell phone as well as from your e-mail account or at the Yappd site.
The simple, pleasing Web interface has six static menu choices across the top: Home, Search, Invite, Settings, About, and Sign Out. Unlike Twitter, Yappd seems primarily aimed at having you exchange posts only with people you’ve included in your “watchlist.” You can see all recent public posts by clicking the All Yapps tab on your home page, but the default when you click on Home is to see posts from people in your watchlist. Search lets you set up a watchlist of yappers, those whose every passing thought (and photo) you’d like to keep up with, by using a simple text box that looks for first name, username, or e-mail addresses. You can easily invite new Yappers by sending an invitation by e-mail after clicking on the Invite main menu choice.
At this point in its development, there’s no premium, for-pay version, and there are no ads. The designers want to keep it as clean and appealing as possible to entice users, but the plan is to include targeted ads later in the product’s development in order to remain in business. I should note that the site works just fine in both Firefox and Internet Explorer, but Opera and Safari unfortunately present rendering errors.
Until very recently, there was no way to insert a picture to your yapp via the Web site—quite an oversight for a service whose main claim to fame is picture adding—but the software’s creators added this capability as I was reviewing the service. Beneath the yapp entry box, you can now click on Yapp a Link | Picture to drop down two more entry boxes; one, as you might guess, for adding a link and the other for locating (via a browse button) and uploading a picture from your PC. The link entry does a little more than just enter a URL in your message: It creates a TinyURL link on the fly via a cool mashup with the TinyURL service, so any otherwise mile-long link will be terse in your resulting yapp.
Alternatively, you use your cell phone or e-mail, simply by sending a missive to yapp@Yappd.com, to include a picture. I successfully sent a picture through e-mail. A thumbnail of the inserted picture appears on the right of a post, and it’s not to be confused with the identically sized profile image to the left of the post. The difference is that clicking on the thumbnail at the right pops up a larger view of the picture, which includes only a caption and an X that closes it. If you want to download the picture or do anything else with it, your only option is to take a screenshot. The service scales down your pictures so that they’re not overwhelming its servers. In this day of mashups, it seems odd that Yappd would store the pictures on its own servers; I think it makes more sense to do what Pownce does and display a thumbnail in your post that links to a bigger version of the image on an actual image-sharing site like Flickr.
A very simple interface nicety missing from Yappd is a question before the entry box similar to Twitter’s “What are you doing?” or Pownce’s “Post a note.” Yes, it’s obvious where to type your thought or description of your current activity, but the question does add a psychological nudge that’s not there with an unprefaced blank box.
Yappd’s settings page lets you enter or edit the obvious personal info such as name, e-mail, and password, user photo, and phone number. But it also offers Notifications options, where other Yappd users can text your phone to remind you that you haven’t yapped in a while. These reminders are forwarded to your cell phone—which sounds like a horrible feature to me, especially for people who pay by the message. Still, it’s only an option, and some hard-core users might like it. There’s also an option to receive an SMS whenever someone on your watchlist yapps—horrible, too, for the same reason
I wish Yappd offered the ability to create private yapps, where a contact or a group of people you choose would receive the messages—not just any Yapper who finds your username and adds you to his watchlist. Pownce offers this, but with Pownce, you lose the ability to put your posts up on a public page containing all users’ contributions. As with other microblogging sites, you may see posts in any language on the public Yappd page, though limiting them to those you understand would be practical. Also, the page doesn’t autorefresh, which makes no sense for a site that has the goal of being up-to-the-minute. There’s also no way to yapp through IM or through your Facebook or blog (that is, there’s no gadget). And I did encounter site problems, where the service wouldn’t let me log in (even after requesting and using a new password sent by e-mail) or even sign up for a new account. I was presented with the cute but unhelpful message “OMG WTF MATE?”
Yappd is still in beta, so I guess I’m willing to cut it some slack despite the kinks. Perhaps it’s enough that it offers a way to share thoughts and pictures with a wide audience. But with Flickr’s ability to add comments and an RSS feed of a photo stream, and Pownce’s ability to link to photo sites with thumbnails included in posts, Yappd must pin its hopes on the narrow spot it’s carved out of being the only Twitter-like, fast-comment posting site that lets you upload pictures. It would be easy to say, “If I want to look through other people’s pictures, I’ll go to Flickr,” or “If I want to pore over other people’s bon mots of the moment, I’ll go to Twitter.” Yappd is hoping enough people will want both together.
Source: PC Magazine