Whrrl 3 iPhone app lets you break out of your social-networking rut

Mar 22, 2010
Tech

Although the Whrrl 3 iPhone app (free) is a check-in networking iPhone app much like Foursquare and Gowalla, app developer Pelago’s isn’t focused on them. The iPhone app’s main purpose, as the company says, is to, “Save you from Farmville.” Pelago says people are in a social rut, creating a false sense of socialness by playing games […]

Although the Whrrl 3 iPhone app (free) is a check-in networking iPhone app much like Foursquare and Gowalla, app developer Pelago’s isn’t focused on them. The iPhone app’s main purpose, as the company says, is to, “Save you from Farmville.” Pelago says people are in a social rut, creating a false sense of socialness by playing games such as “Farmville” and “Mafia Wars.” As I’ve hidden all mentions of those types of games on my Facebook news feed, Whrrl 3’s requirement that users actually interact in-app is something I can get behind.

With Whrrl 3, as you check-in to places you go, you’ll gain entrance into societies — groups of people who have similar interests and visit the same places. Checking in and offering your recommendations of things to do will earn influence points, and the more users inspired by your activities, the more points you’ll receive. By increasing your points, you’ll move up the ranks in your societies and unlock special offers.

Where Whrrl 3 goes beyond the other check-in services is in the ability to create “stories” by including photos and notes about your current activities. Because you can set the privacy level of each check-in, you could use Whrrl as a digital location diary, or as a way to share humorous, interesting, or, well, mundane, details about your life with your friends. You can also select whether to share your check-in on Facebook or Twitter. You can also view stories you’ve created through Whrrl’s Web page.

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Whrrl 3’s design is among the best I’ve seen for social networking and it makes checking in, finding new things to do and exploring nearby places actually fun. But, to get the most out of Whrrl 3, you’ll want to recruit some other friends to use the iPhone app regularly.

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