Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
There’s no shortage of apps and websites to help guide consumers’ decision-making. From Time Out and TripAdvisor, to Yelp and Sortable, every commercial spectrum is covered with reviews, comparisons and insights to help you decide what to spend your hard-earned cash on.
But what about products and services that have yet to hit the market? Sure, many online publications exist to give readers a heads up on what to expect from upcoming releases, but one young startup is looking to bring all this together under one big virtual roof.
Hypejar, a Montreal-based company, launched its online platform in beta back in September. And the premise is simple – it wants to organize the world’s upcoming products, making them more accessible and easy-to-find.
“We strive to be the go-to website for movies, music, video games, gadgets, cars, and anything else with a future release date,” explains Grant Yim, one of the company’s four co-founders. “Users can keep track of products and be notified of their releases. From a more technical perspective, it is a wiki of upcoming products and a social network where we can see others’ anticipation levels for them. It’s also a fun way to see what your friends and public figures are anticipating.”
Hypejar is an interesting idea for sure, but as with any similar platform it will depend on the uptake – its community is the content creators.
How it works
When you first visit Hypejar, you’ll be greeted with a long page of content, with categories including ‘Releasing Soon’, ‘Most Hyped’, ‘Recently Seen’ and ‘Just Added’ featuring prominently.
It’s worth noting here that you don’t need to sign up for an account to use Hypejar – you can browse and access all the content from the get-go, though you will of course gain access to additional features by setting up an account.
For example, if there’s a movie you’re really looking forward to seeing, you can opt to ‘Hype it up’ which adds to its overall positive score. Or, if you’re dreading a new release and all the hype you suspect will surround it, you can choose to ‘Hype it down’, instead. These features aren’t available without creating an account.
Across the top of the page you’ll see a series of menus, one of which is ‘Browse’, which lets you filter out content by category – such as movies, music, video games and so on.
The one thing I’d say here is that this is a key feature of the service, but it feels like it’s really tucked away – I think the browse menu should be a permanent fixture down the left regardless of what screen you’re currently on, so you can easily navigate to your desired category. Or, failing that, when you hover over the ‘Browse’ button at the top, it should bring up a list of options without having to click.
If you know exactly what product you’re looking for more information on, you can simply type in a keyword in the top-right of the screen:
A core facet of Hypejar is its community – it is what helps to populate the content. As such, if you have a good scoop on an upcoming launch, you can choose to add a new item yourself.
You’re given the options of category, sub-category, product name, manufacturer, launch date and so on.
It’s also worth mentioning a key Hypejar feature…your own personal jar. It’s akin to ‘Liking’ or ‘Favoriting’ a product, with all your top upcoming launches viewable in the ‘Products In My Jar’ tab, after you’ve clicked on an item’s ‘Add To My Jar’ button. You will also receive email notifications around your interested products.
Even if you haven’t created a specific product on Hypejar, you can edit the information relating to it by clicking on the ‘Edit This Section’ link, under the product’s ‘Hypejar Overview’. However, only moderators can modify the category or sub-category to which a product belongs.
“‘Hype’ is a concept that equates to a high level of anticipation,” explains Yim. “It is something that is invisible, but not only does it exist, it has become a driver of consumer behavior in today’s world. In a product’s pre-release stage, it is something that is quantified by out-dated and unreliable means, and by traditional outlets such as surveys and clustered compilations of chatter from social media. Hypejar aims to funnel the ‘hype’, capture it in a single container to quantify, and then present it to the world.”
Hypejar offers product launch categories for movies, music, video games, TV series, gadgets, automobiles, events, and books…with ‘Others’ serving as a repository for all other items. Though Hypejar is currently offered as a Web app, the team is working on a dedicated mobile app.
So, Hypejar is like a cross between Pinterest and Wikipedia for upcoming products and, a few navigation issues aside, it has been really well put together. It may still be early days, but Hypejar is one to watch.
Meanwhile, check out the official promo video below.
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