Storify’s storyteller for iPad doesn’t meet web set standards

Feb 29, 2012
Tech

Even if you haven’t heard of Storify, you’ve probably experienced the service during your day-to-day web surfing. Popular among journalists and social media pros, Storify makes it easy to quickly create a social news story, using content pulled from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and the web. You’ll know it when you see it. Storify […]

Even if you haven’t heard of Storify, you’ve probably experienced the service during your day-to-day web surfing. Popular among journalists and social media pros, Storify makes it easy to quickly create a social news story, using content pulled from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr and the web. You’ll know it when you see it. Storify isn’t just for professionals, and now anyone with an interest in social storytelling—and an iPad—can snag the new Storify app.

Storify’s drag-and-drop system is ideal for iPad’s interface, and the fact that Twitter is now built into iOS 5 makes for a seamless match. The app defaults to your personal tweets, rather than following your timeline, but it only took a few seconds to figure out how to access the whole of Twitter. Arranging content within your story was equally easy. But, despite how much I like Storify as a service, that’s all the good I can really say about this debut.

The Storify app is extremely limited in scope. When it comes to Facebook integration, the app only offered me the option of including a brief selection of my photos. On the web app, you can search all of Facebook to pinpoint specific accounts and add user comments—much more useful for social storytelling. There are no options for rich text in the Storify app, so stick with the web if you rely on italics or underlines. Bugginess abounds, too. The app crashed on multiple occasions. Luckily, it auto-saved my test story. Storify often stripped content I added, or added items multiple times. In fact, when I referred back to the draft that comes installed on the app I found myself viewing ghost images from my test creation that were clearly not in the story. It made for a frustrating experience and deterred me from publishing anything via the app, as it was unclear what content would make it into the finished product.

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Most disappointing for me is the fact that you can’t browse stories that are already on the Storify network (unless you’re working in the in-app browser, which I wouldn’t advise). Considering that Storify’s aim is social curation, this omission is a major missed opportunity.

Get a Storify account, but stick with the web-based service until this app gets an overhaul.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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