It’s Linda Ikeji Social’s Tech Torque NG review.
I know I said earlier that I would need a few days of usage to do my review of the site, but after a few hours I thought I’ve had enough time with it. Besides there isn’t a lot on the site.
I’ve also seen a few reviews online, some bad, some good, and some I thought were too quick to judge. It’s normal to get mixed opinions on these kind of things, especially here in Nigeria where we tend to discredit the efforts of our own people. As long as innovation is concerned, I think Nigerians prefer it comes from outside the country (especially outside Africa).
Since Nigeria is a consuming country, we are still some years away from embracing by Nigeria for Nigeria products, but I’ll love to see how Linda Ikeji fares.
Let me just go right into my review.
A lot of people have been saying there has never been a platform that has combined social media and blogging. I think maybe they never used MySpace or Hi5 before they rebranded.
I think it’s a good thing she wants to start paying for eye-witness content instead of copying tweets and posts from public domains.
I can’t tell right now if people would want to sign up to the platform just to go and get the same news she has on her blog, or sign up to the website to read news and make friends. especially for the face that there are already many platforms to keep up with.
Social media apps or websites thrives on innovation and being original. For example, Vine was successful because the gave users a platform t share a 6 seconds video. Vine was in trouble when Instagram went from sharing pictures to 10 seconds video to 60 seconds video. Instagram was in trouble when Snapchat gave users a platform to share a 24 hour 10 seconds each video story.
So the big question now is “what is Linda Ikeji Social bringing to the table beside the N1,000 incentive for original stories. The reason I ask this question is because there are lots of MLM websites that are offering some kind of small rewards for referrals.
Don’t be so quick to write this website off, remember she has the right platform to push anything she wants.
To be honest I don’t think I could come with a better name than Linda Ikeji Social. I think it’s becomes even more difficult because it starts with Linda Ikeji. I would have preferred it had a one word name. Maybe she just wants to be consistent to all her brand name starting with Linda Ikeji.
She wasn’t joking when she said Linda Ikeji Social was a combination of Facebook and Linda Ikeji Blog. It’s more like a red Facebook (I don’t know if that’s a good thing).
There seems to be a lot going on once you’ve successfully logged in. That doesn’t go down well with me. At a time where every brand is leaning towards clean and simple interface, Linda Ikeji Social is a prime example of what you don’t want your website to look like.
Did I just hear you say “but that’s how Facebook looks”? You’re right, only difference is, you’re stuck with Facebook. There’s every chance you signed up for Facebook when it wasn’t this clustered with too many options. Plus most Facebook users have over 500 friends or contacts, and it would be harder to stay in touch more than half of them since Facebook has the most active number of users one social media.
I also don’t like the default avatar.
Hopefully, Linda Ikeji Social is work in progress. We might be seeing design modifications in the near future.
So for some reasons, at the time the website was announced, some people were having difficulty signing up. Either the sign-up form was insisting on fields that should have been set as optional, the account was created and was pending activation from the site administrator or they weren’t receiving the activation email that was supposed to be sent after submitting the sign-up form. It might have been resolved my now.
Except there’s something very important that I really need to get, I would have easily given up on trying to sign-up.
For me I just signed up with my Facebook account. You would think you’ve escaped the above hassle by using your Facebook, WRONG! You will still need to fill out forms with information that are already available on Facebook that could have been transferred from Facebook on sign-up. It didn’t make sense since users can still modify the same thing after sign-up.
I have used Facebook apps and other Facebook APIs. I know for a fact that you could easily transfer information between Facebook and another platform just by signing in with Facebook and authenticating the connection.
Another thing I noticed was, even after signing up with Facebook you still need to create a password else you won’t be able to sign in with you Facebook username and password.
As soon as you managed to log in successfully, you’ll notice that on your profile, you have been given an automatic url that can’t be changed. I would have loved the option of setting your own permanent url.
For a Linda Ikeji Social, I expected the SEO to have been fully optimized at launch. Each time I do a search, I don’t see it on the first two pages. That’s not good. I expect every brand should be ranked high on search engines when the brand name is search for. Instead I see blog stories and news about the website.
That aside. Will user and their content be indexed as well? If the answer is no, does that mean services like Business Pages are exclusive to logged in users?
Like I said earlier, there’s way too much going on right from the home page and I wish the Deals page were hidden, because not everyone will come with the intention of buying anything on the site.
I like the fact that users can sell and buy on the website. Ok, maybe not on the website. Deals, as of now is a link to an external store. Which means, when you click “buy now” you will be redirected away from Linda Ikeji Social to the merchants store.
I would have loved to see the whole transaction taken place within the website, with a shopping history page too.
The ads section is not automated. It’s more like you submit an ad quest, and then wait for review and approval. I was thinking it was going to run like the Facebook ad campaign. Then again not a lot of Nigerians use the Facebook ad. Plus a lot of people who have been wanting to do a sponsored post or banner ad now have direct link to do so This eliminates third-party involvement.
For now, it seems every transaction will be through bank transfer.
The banner ads on the right are a bit too distracting.
Correct me if I’m wrong, when you go to a Find Friends page, and you see social media or email option, its functions are to scan your contact or friend list to see who is already signed up as a user so that you can connect with an active friend. After which you can send an invite to contact asking other to sign up.
I logged in to Facebook on the Find Friends page expecting to find who’s active, instead I was asked to send individual sign-up requests to any of my Facebook friends. Not cool.
Overall, there are more cons than pros. Nevertheless this is a very bold step from Linda Ikeji. She has made a very big statement with this website. I didn’t either the ideal nor the implementation was innovative, but no one is doing it in Nigeria so kudos to her.
The website keeps going down intermittently and I hope that’s not caused by overload.
I don’t know how she intends to drive traffic and active users to the website (except she shuts down the blog). A new local replica of Facebook isn’t what Nigerians have been waiting for.
Most apps and social media websites have excelled when their founders are in the developement team. This gives the product an atmosphere to recreate or evolve, instead of why change what’s making us money mentality. Linda Ikeji isn’t a tech person, so she’s more likely would not welcome the idea of frequent changes or experimental modifications. Hopefully she has a brilliant team to work with.
Things like this sometimes don’t have a success formula. It could turn out to be the biggest thing Linda Ikeji has ever done.
Apart from the fact that it could become successful, it could also open doors for acquisition in the future.
I’ve heard arguements on social media about whether the website was coded from scratch, built on WordPress or Laravel. Honestly I dont’ really care how it was built, as long as it does what it’s intended for, and as long as the developers know what they’re doing.
We’re looking forward to seeing aLinda Ikeji Social Mobile app.