How Chime.in ate CircleMe for breakfast

Four months ago I read this article about an up and coming social networking site called CircleMe and decided to try it out, as I often do with any social platform that seems to be “the next big thing”. After spending some time getting to know the community and meeting some interesting folks, I was starting to dig the platform but a new social networking site showed up and everything changed…

What is CircleMe and why I decided to give it a go

In case you’ve never heard of it, CircleMe helps you collect your interests in one place by pulling them from your Facebook Likes, Foursquare checkins, Goodreads catalog and Netflix streaming activity. The appeal of the whole process is that all this collecting and organizing allows you to engage with others based on their likes, while promotes cultivating new interests through the discovery of new information or the recommendation between users.

Since CircleMe was still in Beta I patiently waited for an invite and created a profile as soon as it arrived. Once I had a neat profile filled with my likes, all that was left to do was spending some time wandering around, getting to know the community and interacting with other users.

At first I liked the experience:

  • The aesthetic of the site is super nice.
  • The conversations with other users were slowly arising (always via messages because you don’t have walls or comment boxes).
  • I received some cool recommendations music and film wise.
  • Some of my colleagues and friends were joining me there.

But Chime.in came to town and I decided to try it out as well. After one or two weeks of intensive chimin’, it was game over for CircleMe.

About Chime.in and how it drove me away from CircleMe

So here we have another social network “that’s all about your interests,” it reminded me a little bit of the mojo behind CircleMe so I gave it a try just for the sake of comparing both of them.

“Chime.in is the place to find incredible content about whatever you’re into and other people who are just as passionate about it as you are” claims their About Us page.

And now is the time when you say it is too good to be true, right? Well, my dear reader, here’s the amazing thing about this social platform, what they say in their About Us page is true.

Chime.in is all about three things: broadcasting your interests, making new friends and discovering great content about your favorite things. I would say it’s a mashup of Twitter + Facebook + Google Plus -because the sharing spirit is the same- with a little bit of the Hubpages’ ways of connecting and treating others (if you’ve ever been active in Hubpages you’ll probably know that people there really seem to care about each other).

To wrap this up I will make a list of my favorite features of Chime.in along with the things that put a smile on my face while hanging out there:

  • You can combine text, photos, videos, links, or polls in a Chime.
  • Every Chime can be tagged with relevant Interests and when you decide to follow someone you can just choose to follow specific interests instead of their whole waterfall of content.
  • The neverending community challenges: from helping funding a well in Africa to the #LetsStayTogether Project, the users are always up for the next group activity.
  • The Chime.in Leader Board: these guys have put together a great source for finding and connecting with active users, a list of the Chimers who sent the most talked about Chimes during the day (updated every 6 hours and placed right by your Chimeline).
  • I’m constantly learning from the interaction between users and UberMedia’s team. From managing complaints to spicying up the conversation, the Community Managers and Editors help this community evolve and grow on a daily basis.

And I could continue adding items to this list all day long. If there’s anything negative about the current state of Chime.in it would be that it has attracted too many ghost users who are probably only using the platform to place links to their sites, but it’s just a matter of not engaging with them and keep on connecting with real people.

Tl;dr: CircleMe is a dead social platform, wanting to create a connection with another person there is like trying to make friends with a collectible sticker album. Chime.in is filled with people who are open to discussions and are not afraid of engaging with others. End of the story.

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8 thoughts on “How Chime.in ate CircleMe for breakfast

  1. Poor CircleMe, I went on there and I seriously didn’t get it. It felt like I had just put down all the things I liked (that I could remember at that time) but there was no good way of communicating with others.

    I tried to give it a go but didn’t get on with it. I really do like Chime.in more but the community is very small and although a lot of users “like” posts, they rarely comment so there is little social interaction which is what I want from a platform.

    Great article though, I can’t wait to see what happens with Chime.in. There is just so much competition now with Pinterest and now Chill.

  2. Hello Gisele,
    Although I sent you an email directly, I thought I’d share my view here too so that your readers can read it too.

    Certainly, we would have hoped to read a more positive review. However, we agree that there are many things you mention that we can improve and this is why the whole team has paid attention to this blog post.

    We are really working hard to make the service as useful and pleasant as possible for all users. However, here I would like to mention that CircleMe has a different objective than Chime.in: CircleMe focuses on allowing users to collect likes and discover new ones. Can we improve CircleMe making it more useful and pleasant whilst also making it more social and fun? Absolutely, and I commit to you we will work on it!

    In any case, thanks also for the positive comments you had for us. We really appreciated them. :)

    Regarding the ‘cons’ of CircleMe, we certainly need to improve in many areas: for example, the topic you mentioned regarding the lack of potential “conversations”; we realized this and from this week (we just released it) you’ll note a feature to comment on any of the activities that people do. But we have to do much more, I know, and we will continue to improve in this space.

    Soon, you will see some other pretty important releases from us. Hope you can give it a try, and perhaps by then we will have earned a more positive review.

    Again, many thanks for (tough ;) ) feedback and I hope to see you Circling in the future ;)

    Giu

    • Hi Giuseppe, first of all I have to say I’m super happy to read your comment on this post, and it’s great to learn about the upcoming changes and improvements.

      CircleMe is still evolving and I will keep on hanging out there every once in a while as I’ve been doing until now because I’m looking forward to see what’s next. Maybe the platform is not for me because -as you’ve said- “CircleMe focuses on allowing users to collect likes and discover new ones”, and not being able to open the door to new conversations makes me feel lonely: it’s like being sitting on the couch with a box filled with my favorite things but there’s no one there to share the experience with.

      I’m glad to know you’re taking this blog post as an opportunity to see CircleMe through the eyes of a member of the community. I didn’t mean to be hard on you and I know I’m comparing two different social networking sites, but I wanted to share my trip with others. And that’s something I’ll keep on doing on my blog because I’m constantly trying out new social platforms :)

      Anyways, thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and leaving this comment. I’m sure the readers will be happy to read your input as well!

  3. I’ve seen these platforms floating around, but haven’t put my personal time in to learn more. I made a note to investigate from my own user experience and see which, if any, are necessary in how I collect and share content.

    Thanks for the in depth review!

    • Thank you for leaving your feedback, Tiana! As I said on Twitter, I think it’s a matter of giving both platforms a try and see which one works better for you. A lot has changed since I wrote this post, nowadays I’m not an active member of neither CircleMe nor Chime.in :/ Let me know how it goes!

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