An illustration of a peach

Is Peach Really Worth The Hype?

John Waldron Social Media, Twitter 1 Comment

Hello, merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all markITwrite followers. It’s been too long since I sat down to start writing a blog for this, the best tech content website on the whole internet.

It’s been months, in fact.

2015 was a super busy year for us here at the office and personally, my job has been very, very busy. So, as is always the case my markITwrite blogging has been the first to suffer. Of course, the blog itself remains one of the most valuable to be found, with its usual actionable and educational (and fun?) mixture of amazing content.

So, what’s been happening with me, or more specifically, the things I tend to write about?

Well, I’m glad that I’ve created this slot to write this blog today, actually, for there’s a potential social disruptor that has reared its hopeful head over the weekend.

Have you tried it yet?

It’s called Peach – a new social network that some are describing as a cross between Slack and Twitter.

A Cross Between Twitter And Slack? Really?

Well, that’s what they say, though it’s not what I’d say.

Indeed, as hybrids go, you would have thought that when Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann dreamt up this new social network, he would of chosen two better socials to cross-breed. I mean, Twitter is pretty good, of course, but to combine it with a team chat tool like Slack? Nah – I don’t think that would have been in the pitch, and I also don’t think it’s a very accurate description.

No, I don’t actually think it’s a cross between anything. For me, it’s most closely comparable to Twitter, except with slightly different features.

How Peach Works

Ok, before I continue with my appraisal, let me give those of you who haven’t checked the thing out yet a quick rundown of how it all works.

screenshot of Peach app

(Image source: itunes.apple.com)

So, as always, you sign up with an email address, choose a username and a profile picture. Then, as always, you start creating posts or updates, which you share on your wall/newsfeed. Next, as ever, you connect with other users, who can – guess what! – ‘like’ and ‘share’ your posts and updates. You can private message people, or completely blow their tiny minds by giving them a figurative piece of cake, a boop (whatever that is), place them in quarantine, or give them a ring, a hiss, or a wave.

So far, so same old same old.

Abracadabra!!

There are a few unique features of Peach, however, most notably the ‘magic word’ function.

When typing up an update, you can activate special types of posts by writing the magic or trigger words. The trigger words currently supported I list for you below, courtesy of the Peach support page. As you will infer, the magic words let you add GIFs, your location, the current weather condition, battery charge on your smartphone, and even create your own doodles, as well as other functions besides.

  • gif: Search for a GIF
  • here: Add current location
  • shout: Say something with big words
  • draw: Draw something
  • goodmorning: Say good morning
  • goodnight: Say good night
  • song: Identify a song w/ your phone’s microphone
  • rate: Rate something 1-5 stars
  • battery: Current charge %
  • weather: Add current weather
  • move: Add movement today (steps, miles, etc.)
  • events#: of events today
  • safari: Open browser to search for link
  • dice: Roll the dice
  • time: Add current time
  • date: Add current date
  • movie: Add movie
  • tv: Add TV show
  • game: Add video game
  • book:  Add book

Initial Reception

Peach was released into the wild only on Friday – which was the 8th January 2016, in case any future readers stumble across this post.

At the time of writing, the app – which is currently only available on iOS – is number 20 on the free social network category in the Apple App Store. As for overall, it’s out of the top 144 – though this is a UK search that I’m doing.

According to TechCrunch yesterday

“Peach [was] currently at #120 overall on Apple’s App Store in the US for free apps, and [was] #9 in social networking”.

Practically every media outlet has covered the release – from The Guardian to Wired to Mashable to the BBC – so one would be forgiven for assuming that an app that was garnering so much attention would be really, really good. Or at least clever or inventive.

But, to my mind, Peach isn’t even original. Sorry, Byte Inc. – but that’s just my humble opinion.

Is It Any Good?

Well, that depends on what you mean by ‘good’. If by good you mean, is the app functional, intuitive, bug-free, user-friendly, clean and simple – then YES! Peach is better than good on all these counts. It’s bloomin’ great, in fact. Can’t fault it in terms of UI or UX – it functions exactly like it’s meant to I have absolutely no doubt.

However, if by ‘good’ you mean useful, original, fun, exciting and different – then, unfortunately, I’m going to have to say that no, it isn’t.

I remember when Periscope first came out last year. The app wasn’t finished – it was gliltchy, the search function was poor, and the overall UI left a lot to be desired, if I’m honest. BUT, Periscope was truly something new, different, fun, interactive, and put a whole new perspective on social networking.

To me, Periscope was a much better and worthwhile app and network when it was only in beta than I think Peach is in its first incarnation entirety.

And the problem, I think, is that it’s just another Twitter – and last time I checked, we already had a Twitter. I don’t buy into the comparisons with Slack, of which, in any case there are plenty of variations already in existence (WhatsApp, HipChat, Messenger to name just three), and so what I’m really getting at is – why on Earth do we need yet another social network that’s all about posting and messaging? We’ve already got tons of these.

Not Too Peachy

Though perhaps I just got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning. For let’s face it – Peach flew up the rankings in the app store. Sure, it’s dropped off now, but for a moment there it was doing really well. There’s been a lot of media attention about the app – this blog included – and so it won’t struggle with an awareness issue, so I have no doubt that it will be here to stay, whether I like it or not.

I don’t think it’s really going to replace anything that we’ve already got, and I’m sure that there will be pockets of teens here and there who will use Peach like there’s no tomorrow. But, when all’s said and done, if Peach was a new network that was just like Twitter but better, then I think it would have been worth all the hype over the weekend. As it stands, however, Peach is more accurately described as being just like Twitter, but shite not as good. Sorry.

That said, if you look at (the real) Twitter, there are some glowing reviews of the app, and there does indeed seem to be plenty of people that say they like it, so you might too. So, give it a try and tell us what you think in the comments below.

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John Waldron

John Waldron is a writer with markITwrite who regularly writes on lifestyle and technology. He is also a fiction writer who has penned a number of short stories, play scripts, and stories for children. He is the author of the foraging blog, First Time Foragers: Recipes and Stories for Beginners. He has a First-Class Honours Degree in English with Creative Writing and an MA in Professional Writing from University College Falmouth, Cornwall.

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