Wouldn’t it be wonderful to explore life’s questions from anywhere? Well now you can, and you can do it by viewing and sharing photos!
The iPhone 5 and its improved camera is not the only thing that technology lovers and photographers get to look forward to on September 21st. Along with the anticipated launch of the new iPhone, a groundbreaking APP will hit the scene on the same day. The APP is called Blurtopia, and it can be best described as an amalgamation of Quora, Hot or Not, and Twitter, with a little Instagram on the side.
Blurtopia was conceived right here in San Diego in mid-June of 2012 when, CEO and Co-founder Ryan Bettencourt, was shopping in a department store. Ryan noticed a woman taking photos of shoes with her mobile phone. When Ryan inquired as to what she was doing, she responded, “I’m sending these photos to my friends to find out which ones they like best.” The woman was polling her circle of friends in order to make a buying decision on the spot. Bingo! Blurtopia was born.
Blurtopia has a simple premise; get and give feedback to questions instantly. The concept is not new. However, the user interface (UI) and delivery is. Blurtopia is designed for simplicity and the user experience was one of the trickiest aspects for the design team due to the limited real estate of mobile phones. Like Instagram, Blurtopia uses a simple horizontal bar located at the bottom of the page that the user uses to switch between their feed, to discover other members, to “Blurt”, review their own blurts, and inspect their profile. The horizontal bar on the top allows for a change in display of questions, a quick-select between those you are following and your inbox, and a refresh button. Blurtopia allows users to comment after posting their answer, allowing for a burgeoning sense of community.
Photographers will be satisfied to learn that Blurtopia allows the user to share two photos simultaneously in a single post. If you’re at a supermarket for example, you can snap a photo of two separate items you are considering buying (bag of chips A vs. bag of chips B), and ask your followers to give a thumbs up to the one they think you should buy. The experience is remarkable. Followers respond in seconds and you will be able to gauge right away, through a circular or bar graph, the percentage that voted for bag A vs. those for bag B. With Blurtopia, photographs become a catalyst for behavior and choice.
The only weakness Blurtopia has can be attributed to the profile section of the APP. Currently, members are unable to craft pithy descriptions about themselves or provide an external website for other members to explore. For photographers or creative artists in general, this feature is a must because the industry relies on information from knowledgeable sources. As of right now, if you ask a question, you could get a response from hundreds of users, but only a dozen of which you either care to receive an answer from, and the others from total strangers that you have no vested interest in receiving an opinion from. This weakness is already recognized by the development team, according to Bettencourt, and there is a build already under way to remedy it. The ability to “follow” authoritative or recognized personalities should be available in November. Before the launch date, Bettencourt says an update will be released that allows for further filtering (Similar to Google Circles), as well as the inclusion of hash tags (#tags), which greatly expand the filter-selection experience.
The temporary weakness aside, what benefits does Blurtopia have and how it can change your life?
As a behavioral driven app, Blurtopia makes decision-making easier and tolerable. Think about your first date. Do you recall all of the questions you had about what to wear, which perfume or cologne to spray on, or if leaning in for a kiss at the end of the date was going too fast? Now, think about having all of those questions answered before you left to pick up your date. For most, having the answers may have lead to a better first date experience. Well guess what Generation Z, Blurtopia just became your wing-man.
Imagine you are an internationally recognized business, and you are about to launch a revolutionary product called the iFlab, a device that you stick to your skin like a patch, and all of your physiological numbers (height, weight, BMI) are beamed to your mobile devices or straight to your doctor’s office. You need to know what price-point to set, but you are not exactly sure what the public might be willing to pay for a product as unique as this. You decide to propose the question to your followers - but not all of them - because your target market is going to be individuals in the medical field and those that fall into the health and fitness categories. With Blurtopia, you can ask your question using one of its three selection types (Thumbs Up or Down, Rate from 1-5, or This or That), post a photo of the device (exclusive sneak peak anyone?), and select tags or groups for context. Additionally, you are able to share the question simultaneously with Facebook and Twitter followers. Instant polls save businesses money. To the companies of the world, Blurtopia just became your top consultant.
Finally, imagine you are a photographer and you are having a difficult time selecting between two images, one of which you are looking to submit to a gallery or a client commission. Or, you simply would like to know which one your followers would likely place on their office wall. Blurt it! Blurtopia just became your curator.
INTERESTING THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BLURTOPIA
Blurtopia is enjoyable to use, highly addictive and keeps you coming back for more. Bettencourt and his team have found that within the test group, the majority will return to post their own questions after answering only five questions from other users.
Users posting commentary are often very helpful as well as engaging. There is no question that there will be divisions within Blurtopia, those that engage in highly sophisticated question and answer, and those that use Blurtopia for general life-style purposes. Fortunately, there is plenty of room for both in the world of Blurtopia.
Blurtopia is highly recommended for businesses, photographers and creative artists, and anyone that has a question that needs an immediate answer – is that you?
When Bettencourt was asked about what he envisioned for Blurtopia, he responded, “Blurtopia can literally change the world and we want that experience to live with everyone.”
Will you be downloading Blurtopia on its release date?
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