Enjoy where you are with HitMeUp

HitMeUp is an iOS app from the company of the same name. It’s been available for a while now, but has recently released a major update to version 3.1.0 of the app, which has caused it to be featured in the “New” section of the App Store’s Lifestyle category. The app is available now as a free download.

HitMeUp doesn’t make its purpose particularly clear, either in the App Store description or in the now-obligatory pictorial “tour” it displays before prompting users to sign in using either Twitter or their email address. It appears to be an app designed to allow users to see photos in an area along with where they were taken and then vote them as either a “hit” or a “miss,” but the exact reasons for doing this are not made particularly clear.

In order to use HitMeUp, as previously mentioned, the user must register and/or sign in to the service using either a Twitter account or their email address — the latter option was newly-added in the version 3.1.0 update. Once into the app proper, they are shown a map of their current location and are then able to snap a photo, which must have a caption attached to it — the app won’t allow photos to be posted without at least something being written in the caption box. This captioned photo is then recorded at the user’s current location for any other HitMeUp users to stumble across should they be browsing that particular area.

Tapping on a photo from another user reveals its full details, including when it was taken, who it was taken by (either Twitter username or the name by which the user signed up if they used their email address) and a 24-hour timer. Users may vote on photos as being either “hit” or “miss” by tapping the appropriate buttons — marking something as a “hit” extends the timer by 15 minutes, while marking it as a “miss” depletes the timer by 15 minutes. Some accounts and photos apparently eschew this mechanic, instead displaying a large “Hit Me Up” button that takes the user to their website. It’s not entirely clear what the criteria for this button appearing as opposed to the voting mechanic is.

This pretty much sums up the problem with HitMeUp — a total lack of clarity and purpose. It starts by not explaining what it’s for, then proceeds to invite the user to do things without explaining why they would want to do those things. It then confuses matters by being inconsistent in its interface, ultimately not making it at all apparent why anyone would want to make use of this service, ever. Browsing the service’s website doesn’t make things any clearer, and neither does browsing its Twitter feed.

As a camera app, it is severely lacking in expected features such as filters and basic editing tools. As a location-aware social network, it is completely devoid of any social interaction. As a software toy, it is mildly diverting for a few minutes, but ultimately the fact that there is seemingly no point to the whole experience simply becomes more frustrating than anything after a while. It’s impossible to understand the reason for this app’s existence in the first place, and consequently it’s also impossible to recommend it to anyone.

You can follow HitMeUp’s progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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