Ping.fm is a new status update service that serves a number of top Social Networks, like Facebook, Pownce, Jaiku and Twitter. It’s good, but I think there’s room for some improvement…
So there I was, seeing the name Ping.fm popping (pinging?) up all over Pownce. Being the curious sort, I decided to investigate.
On arriving at the Ping.fm website, I was to discover that they’re in beta mode and not presently accepting sign-ups.
“You could always send us a message and try to swindle an account from us if you don’t have a code. That’s been known to work sometimes.”
Never one to pass up on a challenge, I gladly accepted their offer:
“Assuming what you’ve got is any good, you’re going to need lots of ‘bloggers like me saying nice things about you.
Send me an invite and I’ll tell you what I think.
How’s that sound?”
My chutzpah was suitably rewarded with an account.
Ping.fm — initial thoughts
On the balance of things, I do like Ping.fm. It’s quick, casual and fits the bill for those who don’t want to go through the rigmarole of signing into their various profiles just to tell people what they’re doing.
To be fair, Ping.fm is still in beta, so my suggestions could well be known to the developers.
Pownce is much more than a status update. It’s a fully-featured micro-blogging platform, which goes some way beyond what Twitter offers or indeed is.
In a similar sense, Jaiku walks the same path as Pownce. So my feeling is, special provision ought to be made for them.
For example, Ping.fm could do with an @url option for links and maybe make use of TinyURL or similar to truncate the links.
They’re all doing it these days, so there’s no reason for Ping.fm to be left behind — give us a widget we can either drop into our favourite personal page service like Netvibes or iGoogle, or place on our desktops, like an Adobe Air application.
Will we see the day when Ping.fm draws people away from their mobile Twitterings? I very much doubt. It’s even possible to post to Twitter from Skype, or Apple’s iChat now.
But, as “killer” features go these days, as mentioned in Ping.fm’s own forums: “a mobile interface to use from my iPhone or Palm Treo”, and more besides, I no doubt.
Most of these services have varying character limits, so it would be interesting to see Ping.fm offer some visual display of that allowance (similar to Twitter), which should be easy enough for them to do.
What about sending multiple Pings from the same Message window?
Also, they should really place the “Quick Tips” under the Message text box. Maybe even have buttons for each network option?
While not likely to set the world alight, Ping.fm is a neat enough idea, if not an entirely novel one. Should they get enough exposure fast enough with the right people, while adding in the required mobile smarts, the future of Ping.fm could be bright…