babe.e.book gives families a private place to share memories

babe.e.book by Cody Mac is a new social app for iOS designed specifically for families with new additions. It is positioned as a “private” social network where family members can share pictures, updates and milestones as a new family member grows up.

Upon starting babe.e.book for the first time, users are invited to sign up. This collects a small amount of personal information from the user, including their name, email address and choice of password. As part of the account creation process, users can also immediately add basic information about their babies, including a picture, name and birthdate. There is no option to sign in using another social network — a babe.e.book account is designed to be a discrete entity, intended to be kept more “private” than other, more open networks.

Once signed in, the user has several options. They can add other family members who are using the app through either their username or email address, and begin posting updates. There are four possible types of update: photo, text post, location check-in (which uses Foursquare for its database of nearby places) and person check-in. In practice, most of these post types bleed in to one another — photos can be added to text posts; text can be added to photo posts; locations and people can be added to all types of post; and all posts can be optionally tagged as “milestones” for easy filtering later. Each post may also have one or more of the user’s babies “attached” to it to show who it relates to. Finally, users may make updates public (to their babe.e.book followers) or private (just for them) and optionally share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Foursquare if it is something they would like to put out into the broader Internet community.

When browsing family members’ posts, users have the usual options to like and comment. It’s also possible to delete a post quickly and simply from the activity feed, though the icon for doing so — an ellipsis (“…”) could have perhaps been better chosen. The icons also seem to be a little unresponsive and difficult to tap on at times, but otherwise the functionality of the app is solid, and it looks good, taking heavy cues from Instagram in its interface design, with large, bold images and clear presentation. It also supports Twitter- and Instagram-style hashtags, allowing users to easily categorize their posts if they are disciplined about using them — simply tapping on a hashtag allows the user to immediately view all posts with that tag.

babe.e.book is a good idea — the private, closed nature of the app’s social network will help users feel confident in sharing things they would like to keep only to their closest confidantes while still allowing the flexibility to make certain things more “public” via established services. The fact that it is free to download and use hopefully means that it will see a good degree of take-up among new parents and their smartphone-savvy families. It would benefit from having an Android version and perhaps a Web presence to make it accessible to the widest possible audience, but this iOS app is a good start that deserves to enjoy some success — unlike many other mobile-social networks, it has a clear purpose and target demographic rather than being an attempt to jump on bandwagons relating to amorphous concepts such as “sharing” and “liking.”

babe.e.book is not currently ranked on any App Store leaderboards. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.