Formspring, the popular social network with over 26 million users, has today launched its free iPhone app on the App Store. It allows users to ask and respond to questions, as they have always done, and also adds the ability to send a picture in lieu of a question or an answer.
Formspring was launched in November 2009 as a way for users to send personalised questions and responses to each other. Questions can also be asked anonymously, though the site offers preferences to block such questions for those who are uncomfortable with them. Answered questions are listed on users’ public profile pages, with an activity stream bringing them questions being asked and answered by the people they follow.
The iPhone app has all the features of the website and then some. Users can go through their feed to take a look at which questions are being answered by their friends and ‘smile’ at the ones they like. The inbox lists questions they have themselves received, which they can choose to answer. Users can also update their profiles from within the app and find more friends to follow.
To ask a question, you tap on the ‘Compose’ button in the app and type away. As with the website, you can ask a question to a single person or a specific set of people, or post it to all your followers. You can also have it be posted on Facebook and Twitter while you are at it.
The iPhone app adds the ability to send a picture to your followers and have them respond to it—so you can, for instance, send a photo of your new kid and watch the congratulatory messages pour in. You can also respond to questions with images instead of words—because, of course, an image is worth a thousand of them.
The iPhone app is a pretty decent companion to Formspring’s Web app but whether it will be useful for you or not depends upon whether you are in a community of active users of the site. Despite having tens of millions of users, Formspring doesn’t seem to have been able to expand out of its primary user-base of high school and college-going kids and teenagers. If you find yourself in that demographic, this iPhone app may be just what you had been looking for.
[Formspring is available on the App Store for free and is compatible with all iPhones running iOS or later. It is not a universal app.]