You’ve probably noticed a minor backlash against the omnipresent Facebook in recent years, with the likes of Path’s limited-connections social app, Snapchat’s ephemeral photo-sharing and Couple’s, well, social network for couples.
Is there really room for one more in this busy space? The folks behind Nextt think so.
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Launching today for iPhone, the Web and mobile Web, Nextt is being sold as a “private network for close friends to connect online so they can do more together offline”. So therein lies the perceived key differentiator – it takes Path, mashes it with Facebook Events, and serves up a platform for making plans out there in the wild.
It’s worth adding at this juncture that, somewhat inexplicably, while the Web version of Nextt is being made available globally from today, the iPhone app is only available in the US and Canada. Go figure.
How it works
Sign-up is by email only, which is a clear sign that its distancing itself from other social networks such as Facebook. Once in, you’re invited to create your first Nextt (event) based on their own suggestions (e.g. See a Movie, Get Coffee), but you can skip this and head straight into the meat-and-bones of the network.
Nextt, naturally, is all about your friends so it’s not a lot of use without connecting up with them. However, to get a general feel for things, you can go-solo at first and create your first Nextt, giving it a name, date and location. You can save it for yourself to use at a later point, or send to friends now.
Now, Nextt is a lot better if your friends are also using the app, but it’s not essential. You can send invites from within Nextt by SMS or email, and this is definitely a good move – it encourages more people to engage with the broader service, and helps it gain mindshare in the longer term so that people may later sign up.
You can import friends from your address book, add them manually or import from Google. You can also create friendsets, which is similar to something like Google Circles or WhatsApp Groups, whereby you have separate groups for different purposes (e.g. ‘Work’, ‘Uni’, ‘Family’).
Friends then indicate whether they’re in, out or on the fence, while leaving messages in a long-stream to iron out the finer details of the meet-up. You can also view your own personal calendar of upcoming events.
Nextt is a well-built app for sure, but whether it can cement its place in an already crowded market remains to be seen. Indeed, in addition to the aforementioned networks, another so-called ‘anti-Facebook’ app relaunched earlier this week, to help you connect with friends nearby. It’s a difference concept, but helps illustrate the drive to create something a little more meaningful away from the dominant players.
“Social networks are great for staying up-to-date with everyone, but consuming the lives of others on our screens leaves a lot less time for living in the real world,” says Mark McGuire, CEO and co-founder of Nextt. “Nextt is a dedicated place for real friends to create the future together – what they’re going to do next – and make spending quality time in person a priority again.”
So Nextt is all about the who, when, what and where of social networking. It’s all about what you’re going to do, rather than what you’ve done.
Nextt is available on the Web and the App Store now, though the latter is only open to users in the US and Canada for now.
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