Flirt Chase is a new iOS app from Handmade Mobile, a company that promises to solve the “problem” of monetizing social networks. Flirt Chase is free to download from the App Store, but carries additional in-app purchases of a special currency called Credits, which are required to use take full advantage of the site’s features.
Flirt Chase is a social network that essentially gamifies and monetizes popularity and/or vanity. The aim of the “game,” such as it is, is to be recognized as “Top Candy” on the in-app leaderboard. Candy is earned through participating in various site activities, and is also awarded for connecting one’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to the Flirt Chase service and sharing favorite updates on social media. Those who are “Top Candy” are shown the moment the app opens on a leaderboard. There is also a special “Look At Me” section, where users can bid varying amounts of in-app Credits for a place at the top of the front page.
There are several means of interacting with others via Flirt Chase. Firstly, users may simply post a status message, which appears on their profile and in the app’s “Explore” section. The “Explore” component may be browsed according to the users who are Top Candy, featured users or a chronological list of the last few posts, starting with the most recent. When a user signs up to the service, it automatically posts a status update saying “I’m new here” to announce their arrival to the community. Users may also post voice and photo updates on their profile, and are regularly encouraged to do this. Users may also optionally charge a Credits fee for others to view a specific post — somewhat predictably, this is largely used at present to hide “sexy” pictures of girls in bikinis and underwear.
Tapping on a user takes you to their profile. From here, the user may be followed (some updates are “followers only”), messaged privately or have a gift bestowed upon them. Gifts must be purchased using Credits, meaning they will normally require an in-app purchase to make use of. Each user also has their own public chat room attached to their profile as well as a private messaging facility, allowing for group conversations.
Flirt Chase has a few nice ideas, but it’s just not a very good app on the whole. The interface looks somewhat amateurish and is extremely slow to navigate, particularly on a cellular connection. It’s also simply not very well organized — it’s not particularly easy to know where to go if you’re looking for a specific site function, and it seems the service is keen to wring some Credits out of its users at every available opportunity. The whole experience is just left feeling like a rather superfluous app; there are plenty of other mobile-social apps out there that don’t charge their users to make use of site functions, so the big question is therefore why would anyone choose to use this one, which does?
You can follow Flirt Chase’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.