Swipp requires a Facebook account to log in — it is not possible to sign up or log in using an email address or alternative social networking account. The reliance on Facebook Connect has caused the app to be review-bombed with one-star ratings in the U.K., a territory that has shown itself a number of times in the past to be intolerant of Facebook being the only login option for a mobile app, but the app enjoys a much stronger four and a half stars in the U.S.
Swipp’s core concept is to be a service that allows its users to share their opinions on absolutely anything. All it takes is a quick search for a term — and a submission to the database if it’s not already in there — and then a “swipp” rating from between -5 and +5 using a slider to represent how much the user likes or dislikes that thing. A “swipp” may also have a comment and an image attached to it. Over time, individual terms will build up a bank of comments and images relating to themselves, and the service also generates an attractive infographic relating to the term demonstrating the number of swipps over time, the geographical locations that swipps have been coming from and how the ratings divide up between gender and age brackets. There seem to be significantly more men using the service than women at present, if a sample of the figures from several different topics are to be believed.
As well as swipping topics, users may also browse others’ opinions and add their own. Looking at an individual topic’s page shows how many swipps it has had, its lifetime rating, its daily rating and whether it is trending upwards or downwards. A “reference” button allows the user to browse Freebase for information on the topic in question, and this also links to Wikipedia for further information where required.
Swipp is a well-made app with a clear, simple to understand interface, but like so many other apps of this ilk its actual real-world usefulness is somewhat questionable. While it’s quite interesting to see others’ opinions on various topics, there’s not a lot of meaningful discussion going on right now, with most users sticking to positive ratings and not adding comments or images, leading to most topics having an overinflated sense of “worth.” The community is also, at present, far too small to make the service practical for use in any sort of research, and the fact it is only available for iOS at this time also means that it’s only looking at a specific sector of the entire market. In short, it’s an interesting idea, but one which doesn’t appear to have had its long-term future considered in any great detail.
You can follow Swipp’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.