For all of you who got up this morning thinking, “I wish there was a new social network I could join,” I’ve got good news for you. As of this very morning, you can sign up and start contributing to Chime.in, a complete new and different kind of social media site.
Okay, I could hardly write that last sentence without laughing, but I do give owners UberMedia props for trying.
Chime.in is a cross between Twitter and Google+. Users can post a photo, video, link or up to a 2,000 character “chime.” Then others can comment on the chime and voila – you’re communicating with the outside world.
What makes Chime.in unusual is that you can follow interests in addition to people. There’s a long list of interests to choose from including TV, movies, technology, fitness, specific sports, politics, and even chemistry.
The layout is also very nice. The big boxes and balanced graphics makes it easy to scan a full page of posts. When you click to expand a box, though, you mostly get hit with redundant information. Still, it’s more visually appealing than either Twitter or Google+.
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What’s really going to set Chime.in apart is monetization. According to The Huffington Post, Chime.in will pay out 50% of the advertising revenue for ads placed on profile pages. I signed up for the service and didn’t see anything about this on the site so perhaps they haven’t put the plan in place yet.
UberMedia CEO Bill Gross was quoted as saying,
“We’re relying on the crowdsourced efforts of millions of people who are interested in driving traffic to our place. We’re going to have great communities curated by really strong people and they’ll be driving traffic to us. We won’t have to [drive traffic] because they’ll have an economic self-interest.”
Now that sounds like HubPages, Squiddo and all the other pay-for-traffic sites out there and that’s bad. Yes, people are more likely to remain loyal if there’s a buck in it. But they’re also more likely to post a volume of trash, hoping for the win.
I also found a spam chime in my first five minutes on the site.
For marketers, Chime.in is a big, open blackboard that you can use to promote your brand. That doesn’t mean you should go in and start posting ads for your company. But if you happen to sell DVDs, then by all means, go start a poll about the best movies for Halloween or top DVDs for holiday giving. Over the next few weeks, I imagine the site will have considerable traffic, but once the buzz dies down, we’ll see how many people keep coming back.
Has Twitter met its match? I’ll chime.in with my two cents and say, I doubt it.