I was reading through my feeds while waiting for Weeds to start tonight and spotted this Joystiq post about a new iPhone app and social network that is getting some attention, called Booyah, that is free, plugs in to Facebook and Twitter and allows you to track your life achievements with a cute, customizable alien-esque avatar as if life is one big game. Interesting.
Several months ago, Barb and I actually discussed what it would be like to build something like this that was both a game and a social network and then watched in horror as viral hashtag-based games emerged on Twitter cluttering the airwaves. What I think Booyah is doing really well is matching the normal activities that you already report on via your status updates on Twitter and Facebook into an achievement-based game.
A lot of you may be sitting there thinking, but who wants to play a game based on regular life activities? To which I reply: remember a little game franchise called The Sims?
Anyway, I think this is brilliant.
Here’s a link to the official Booyah site and here’s a video tour of what it’s all about:
If you want to see more of what Booyah looks like, I’ve included a gallery of 66 screenshots taken from the application at the bottom of this review, including all the customization options available for your avatar, as well as all the various category views and different controls.
Basically, it’s a 3-D avatar-sporting status update application (you can actually flick your finger across your avatar and spin him in a nicely animated dizzy circle) that integrates with both Twitter and Facebook, but lacks some of the basic killer-twitter client features like tracking replies, DMs, retweeting, and the ability to reply to others. However, it appears to manage your Facebook status updates from you and your friends like a champ, with replies and even number count of replies viewable in its news feed. Additionally, it has it’s own location-based service with a global view via which you can track all the activity of other users of Booyah.
The main thing that Booyah adds to updating your Facebook and Twitter statuses—besides the awards, accomplishments, and game play—is the ability to categorize and track your updates. The categories include: Food & Dining, Fitness, Entertainment, Shopping, Work & School, Arts & Culture, Social, Travel, and Passions. I don’t see Booyah replacing either Facebook app or any of my Twitter clients on my iPhone, but I definitely see it as something fun that I’ll use to supplement those clients whenever I’m on the go and have something I would normally post that fits into one of these categories.
Also for all of you who are worried about flooding your social networks with Booyah achievements, you select whether or not you want to post each item to Facebook and/or Twitter via checkboxes, so you could simply update on the Booyah network and no where else if you liked.
In any case, it’s free, so I highly recommend that you check this interesting twist on status updates out if you have an iPhone or iPod touch.
Review Rating: YAY!