Feeding your ego one social network at a time
It's inevitable. As Apple's mobile platform iOS attracts more developers, they bring with them all sort of influences. If last week I commented on the strong influence of Windows 8 (Metro look for you and me) in Analytics Tiles, today's app reflects the same trend: flat colours, squares and sans serif fonts. This is all used for the same purpose, to display complex data in an appealing way.
Statnut by Shiny Frog and FFFABS is a hub of social media stats. Cared about the amount of people following on Twitter? The views of your latest YouTube video? The app promises to give you all this and more on a single screen view. Simplification and minimalism with one tap.
Keeping track of your following isn't a new thing. Some developers have tried to crack this before with different results. I imagine, given how forgotten apps like Birdbrain and Ego are, this mustn't be a profitable venture. If others like me aren't so keen on using App Store abandonware, making me believe this app might have a good change to benefit from this crowd.
Statnut supports multiple services including Instagram, Twitter, Dribbble, Facebook, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube. The sweet part is that you can download the app now and start adding accounts without knowing your password — the data displayed is publicly available. Instagram and Facebook will require their native app to launch and authorise though.
Although the list of supported services sounds like a lot, usage will depend on the social networks and the stats you care about. I can see how YouTube subscribers or Likes can be more interesting than friends on Facebook.
Compared with service specific apps like Birdbrain, Statnut could feel a bit like a jack of all trades, not being able to provide key details such as the Twitter users on your timeline not following, those who unfollowed you, new followers,… You need to realise Statnut doesn't have that level of depth, being focused primarily of giving a snapshot of your online activity.
A design-conscious product
As soon as you add your accounts and play with the multiple hidden gestures, it's clear the emphasis Statnut has on presentation. This is the key ingredient for me that will make or break the app depending on your visual taste.
The muted colours and basic monochrome icons are enough to identify the service. Ordered on chunky customer table view, every row can be scrolled horizontally to reveal stats hidden on the right. What's more interesting, the location will stay where you last left it even if you close the app, allowing you to tailor what you see to your preference.
There are plenty of multitouch gestures to navigate the app without using any standard interface element from Apple. Perhaps this was the reason for failing the App Store review submission process in a first instance. In a real-life usage scenario I ended up launching my account page way to many times as I was scrolling to the right.
For my own use, Statnut feels limited by the selection of social networks. This won't be everyone's problem, of course, but I'm not too keen on Facebook and Instagram these days. What I would like is support for Google Analytics and Squarespace, which were two of my favourites on Ego.
Despite the good presentation I'm curious if this will make the cut on my iPhone home screen after two weeks of usage. When I had other apps already mentioned to track my stats, I was checking them almost compulsively whenever I had some free minutes. Almost embarrassed of this behaviour, I decided to stop tracking social network stats. Now I keep checking Google Analytics as a business responsibility, not so much as an ego feeding activity. I wonder if Statnut will be able to change that.
GIF animation from Fabio Basile's Dribbble