Ditto! iPhone app just another check-in tool

Mar 22, 2011
Tech

Ditto! is a pretty fitting name for an app that does what so many others have done before. The name probably isn’t meant to draw attention to this fact, but rather attempt to create an environment where a user posts a status message like, “Dan wants to go to the movies” and someone responds in […]

Ditto! is a pretty fitting name for an app that does what so many others have done before. The name probably isn’t meant to draw attention to this fact, but rather attempt to create an environment where a user posts a status message like, “Dan wants to go to the movies” and someone responds in kind, “Ditto!” But alas, it doesn’t come off this way.

Instead, Ditto! performs like someone used Foursquare, made an app that looked very similar, and said “Ditto!” The greatest difference between the two is that while Foursquare offers one box for all of your check-in needs and desires, Ditto gives you a separate field for nearly every occasion. If you’re taking a bus, use the “In Transit” button to note that “Dan K. is in transit!” You can then select your destination, and post a 140-character message about your travel.

Or perhaps you want to go shopping, so you click the “Shopping” button, where suddenly your message will be “Dan K. wants to go shopping!” Then, again, you pick the place you want to go shopping, and you can type a 140-character message.

The point is, this doesn’t seem to have a point. Ditto! has micro-managed its own users status updates to make them ultra specific for no reason. A quick look at nearby updates shows a litany of people who are telling you they’re off to work or home, with a few offering up that they’re eating at a restaurant.

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There is a “Chat” option that allows for a more free-form discussion using hash-tags, but it seems terribly underused. That’s a shame, because an actual discussion via Ditto! might provide it with a redeeming feature. Knowing that a bunch of strangers are headed to work, on the other hand, is about the blandest use for a social networking app.

I don’t mean to sound like a social networking snob, but the idea of pre-made status updates somehow makes check-ins even more boring and unnecessary than they were before. There are plenty of ways to add interesting ideas to social networking and check-in-oriented apps, but Ditto! doesn’t use many of them. I’m checking out.

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