This week, to coincide with national elections, State, a new international social network, was launched in South Africa. State is all about personal opinions. Instead of basing people’s connections around their networks State links people based on their opinions.
State, which is billed as a “global opinion network”, is not about amassing thousands of followers, or trying hard with witty copy, hashtags and a strategy – it’s really all about having opinions and sharing them. The London-based founders set up the social network because they feel that most people never get heard, and they want to level the playing field so that people can express their opinions easily. State allows you to voice your opinions in a non-competitive way. Anyone who is interested in what you’re posting about can comment – the reaction to your posts is not based on how “popular” you are.
As the founders say: “We believe that everyone deserves a powerful voice online, no one should be left out, and when everyone’s opinions count, a more complete picture emerges. We firmly believe that this could make good things happen.”
How State works
Once you’ve joined State, you’re asked to state an opinion on anything you like – from the new episode of Game of Thrones or on South African politics.
Once you’ve stated your opinion, you describe it with one of 10 000 emotive words in State’s list (or choose your own). Other users can then comment on your opinion, and you can share it with your friends on Twitter, Facebook and email (as well as users you don’t know personally) to get their reactions.
If you prefer to browse others’ opinions you can look at trending topics, or opinions posted in broad topics you’re particularly interested in (choose from entertainment, food and drink, politics, music, sport etc), or search for a specific topic, such as “South African elections” to see what people are posting and discussing and add your thoughts.
The interface is user friendly and clean, and feels more like an online magazine than a social media network. The user interface has been developed to bring the data to the front and visually indicate where users’ opinions rank with others. An iOS app is available, and State will launch an Android app in the near future.
Overall I think State is great – it has a powerful idea behind it, the design and usability are excellent and I like the fact that it’s not a popularity contest.
What do you think of State? Will you join this new social network?