These days, we can’t seem to get enough of social networks. We have Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ — just to name the most popular. Then there are Ning communities, discussion boards, and the comments section of popular blogs, which can often feel like a social network in and of itself. Now, yet another social network is hitting the scene — and in a big way. Chime.in is promising to offer the best of each social network, while staying focused on sharing information.
Sound like Twitter? That’s no surprise, as Chime.in was developed by UberMedia, who also owns Twitter apps UberSocial and Echofon. You might even remember UberMedia trying to buy TweetDeck, which ended up in the hands of Twitter itself. This is not say Chime.in is anything like Twitter. In fact, the platform looks nothing like any current social network (except for perhaps your RSS reader). The idea behind Chime.in is to follow both interests and people, so if you’re interested in celebrity gossip, you can instantly get a feed of media shared by outlets like E! News and Perez Hilton.
In fact, E! Entertainment, along with Universal Studios, Walt Disney Pictures, and Bravo are among the launch partners. This means users who sign up will have instant access to the news they care about most, and not just about entertainment. Other categories include fitness, gadgets, mobile, marketing, and more. These categories are not “sponsored,” however; when users create a Chime (which looks somewhat like a Facebook update), they can tag it with an interest. All users who follow that interest will then see the Chime, similar to the functionality of hashtags — but more organized. Users can even see the Chimes they’ve posted with each tag, which is a nice, built-in way to organize one’s own posts, similar to blogging platforms.
Not only does Chime bring the best functions of Facebook and Twitter, including the ability to follow rather than reciprocally friend, but it also features communities, which bring to the social network group-like functions that users of Ning communities have grown to love. They’re also more easy to find, join, and participate in than the groups on Facebook. And like all other social networks, users have their own profiles with bios and their recent chimes — albeit with less of a focus on the users and more about the content shared.
Chime.in is still in beta, which means a low user base (for now) and some kinks to work out (some pages load terribly slowly). As other social networks are in a tumultuous state and facing privacy concerns, Chime.in may very well be posed to be the next big social network.
Have you tried Chime.in yet? Do you think it will become your primary social network, or just another social network you forget about? Let us know in the comments.