As we all know, over the past few weeks, Dalton Caldwell has been preparing his solution to the problem of including money in the intricacies of communication and openness on the Internet, App.net. His plan is to create a platform that both users and developers can rely on to remain free from ads. Dalton has expressed that he does not believe models like Twitter are bad, they're just not how he believes the Web should be, when it comes to open communication.
App.net was successfully funded a few days ago, bringing in $500,000 in initial signups of users and developers. But what about if you don't want to have to pay for a piece of the Internet that is fundamental to free and open communication? Well, I have what I think is a better alternative for you.
Heello. No, that's not a typo (and it's pronounced "hello"). Heello is a new social network; "an open, real-time communication platform". It has similar principles to App.net, but does more for its users. Heello's background originates in the mind of it's creator, and his strong vision of what a social network should be. Noah Everett, creator of TwitPic, has an idea -- an idea for a social network similar to others, but ahead of them in several aspects.
Heello is different from other social networks in a few ways. It is free, yes, but there is also a Pro option that avoids ads (that will be natural and no more intrusive than those Twitter ads you've never noticed) and add the ability to suggest features you would like directly. It is very much a suit-everyone concept that seems to be perfectly constructed.
This is a screenshot of what the new Heello will look like - the service is currently in the process of receiving a massive update. But, if you head over to heello.com right now, this isn't what you see. What is live now is an older version of the site. But fret not! The Heello team have been working tirelessly for the past six months to create the perfect social network. They have taken the best of everything around, dismissed the worst, and come up with some unique and interesting ideas of their own.
A unique feature of Heello is that it takes everything you post – photos, rich media, maps and locations, videos, links – and pulls them into the interface natively. You can see large rich maps, photos and videos directly within Pings (I will cover some of this terminology later). It will be rich, native and very well designed. Find out even more at new.heello.com.
One issue of note is Heello's relationship with developers. I have spoken with the founder, Noah, and what he has said is reassuring. Heello is going to be as much a platform for developers as it is a service for users. There are open APIs and libraries available currently and more are being written as we speak. This means integrating Heello freely with your app or service is no hassle at all. For users, this means more choice, more invention, and more innovation. In other words, this is good for everyone.
Onto the terminology: you heard me say (saw me type?) Ping before. This is just one of the terms Heello introduces. Pings are messages, statuses or Tweets. They are the things you send. You can Echo a Ping; meaning you can share it, or retweet it. You can reply - simple! You can Message. You can Search. You can reference people on Heello with a simple @, much like other services. It is very easy to use, and easy to get into. Heello lets you do everything you could want to do on other networks and more, with even more coming in the near future.
Not only does Heello have an exciting new web interface coming, but several mobile apps are in the works. Both iOS and Android versions of the mobile app will become available as soon as the new Heello launches. As the site says, the new Heello is "coming soon".
Now, I know you’re sceptical. But, I must say, this new version of Heello is going to be considerably better than what is currently live. It will be better than anything else around; it will do everything you want; it will be the social network – of the future. So, sign up and grab that username fast, before it’s too late!