Count It Down is a new iOS app from Yellow Canary Studios Ltd. It’s available now as a free download from the App Store, and carries additional in-app purchases of virtual currency. It’s currently featured in the “New” section of the store’s Social Networking category.
Count It Down is an app designed to allow users to create and manage events with their friends on social media, and automatically schedule posts to count down to the event. The app requires users to have an account on the service before they can have events and posts sent to them, but also features Facebook and Twitter connectivity to assist with finding friends.
To use Count It Down, users must first create an event by selecting someone whom the event is for from Facebook or Twitter, or alternatively via their email address or username on the service. If they do not already have an account with Count It Down, they will be sent an invite to download the app, and the event cannot be created until they are registered.
Once the event is created, the creator must set the title, category, date and time of the event. For some inexplicable reason, it is impossible to include punctuation in the event title, so an event with the name “Pete’s Birthday,” for example, will become the grammatically-incorrect “Petes Birthday,” which may frustrate some. Optionally, the event creator may choose to hide the event title until the time and date of the event, allowing for the service to be used to “tease” an upcoming event without actually revealing what it is until it arrives.
Once an event’s basic information has been provided, the user may begin scheduling posts of various types for the run-up to the final time and date. Users may either create these posts manually or use the “Give me some ideas” option to select from predefined content. If the latter option is chosen, users must spend in-app currency to “purchase” the post types they would like — alternatively, a number of “packages” are available that include a set number of posts of various types. Posts vary from poems to videos to music tracks, and the user may always create their own posts for free rather than having to spend in-app currency on purchasing content.
When an event has been finalized, the app then notifies the recipient of the new posts at the appropriate times. From the app’s main screen, users can review all the events that they are part of and view the relevant posts. By keeping all the posts within the app rather than posting on Facebook or Twitter, Count It Down allows for users to build a private, fun sense of anticipation with one another without spamming other users.
Herein lies a slight issue with Count It Down, however — it only works for “one-on-one” interactions, and does not appear to have the facility to send posts to a variety of people. This is fine for certain situations — counting down to a special event or anniversary with a friend or loved one, for example — but is less useful for events that involve more than two people such as parties or group vacations. It would be good for a future update to incorporate a facility for more large-scale events, but at present this is not really what the app is built for.
Count It Down is a well-designed app with an interface strongly reminiscent of Zynga’s “With Friends” series of games, which means it will be instantly familiar and easy to navigate for many users. While there are a few frustrating aspects — having to wait for friends to join the service before being able to create an event, and the aforementioned lack of support for larger groups — for the most part this is a fun, social service that provides an interesting way for friends to build anticipation for special occasions and express themselves to one another.
You can follow Count It Down’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.